“Just because someone has a disability does not mean that they cannot be strong and independent!”

Eli, 7th GraderStanback Middle

Wes, Daisy, Akeem and our Public Allies Brandi and Travis have had a busy week visiting local schools in Orange County NC bringing the interactive Bridge II Sports “EveryBODYPlaysNC” Adapted Sports Days to students through their PE classes. Orange County hosted BIIS at four schools across the county –3 just this last week!

The goal of the Bridge II Sports EveryBODYPlaysNC initiative is to bring disability awareness to students in a school – both those with and without disability — through the power of adapted sports. ALL students and staff get in sport chairs or on the floor to experience sport in a different way to increase acceptance, understanding and broaden their perspectives on accessibility and inclusion.

During our ‘Tour of Orange County’ BIIS provided full day programs at Stanback Middle on 11/25, Stanford Middle 12/6, Pathways Elementary 12/9 and New Hope Elementary 12/10. At the middle schools 350 students/staff participated per day with 150 per day at the elementary schools.

All schools had the same program run during all PE classes scheduled that day. After a discussion of disability etiquette with Wes and Akeem students got active playing sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball. Everyone loved both sports but wheelchair basketball was the clear ‘fan favorite’. At the end of the day able-bodied youth gained an appreciation that sport is still sport- whether it is played sitting down or standing up – and EveryBODY should have access to recreation and play.

At the end of each class, students were handed surveys to reflect onto their experience during the adapted sports day. We are compiling their feedback and will share more of the impact of these incredible days with you. We thank all the schools for allowing us into their learning space and to educate your youth through the power of adapted sport.

A big round of applause for the Programs Department for scheduling and coordinating these days and pouring their energy into creating a memorable experience and lesson that these students will carry with them through life.