Bridge II Sports Receives $40,000 Grant from The Hartford for
New Adaptive Sports Equipment and Programming
Bridge II Sports was recently awarded a grant from The Hartford as part of its Ability Equipped® program. The grant enabled Bridge II Sports, a member of the Move United Network, to purchase nine new sport chairs which will be used by our youth wheelchair basketball team, The PRIDE (Perseverance, Resilience, Integrity, Determination, and Empowerment) and expand EveryBODYPlaysNC programming in public schools statewide.
The Hartford also provided two Bridge II Sport youth athletes, Jillian and Bryson, with their own custom-fit sport wheelchairs to foster their passion for wheelchair basketball. These athletes were chosen by Bridge II Sport staff because they show enthusiasm and commitment to fitness, determination to excel in wheelchair basketball and are active program participants.
On Saturday, November 7th, staff, volunteers, families, and Team PRIDE members ‘surprised’ Jillian and Bryson with their sport chairs during a ‘reveal celebration’ at the final outdoor skills practice of the year at the Bridge II Sports campus. After the reveal, all athletes tried out the club’s new sport chairs. It was such a special day for all involved as we celebrated the power of sport AND the opportunity to have equipment to harness that power.
The Hartford has been an advocate for the adaptive sports movement and sponsor of athletes with disabilities for more than 25 years. As a leading provider of disability insurance, the company has a long-held belief that sports are an important part of physical rehabilitation following a disabling illness or injury. In 2019, the company created its Ability Equipped® program to make adaptive sports and equipment more accessible to youth and adults with disabilities.
“I am so thankful to The Hartford and its Ability Equipped program. These funds make it possible for Bridge II Sports to grow our equipment inventory and better serve the community. Adaptive sports equipment is expensive and for many families, it is a financial hardship to purchase specialized equipment. I am so proud of the two youth who are receiving their own chairs. They have aspirations to continue playing their sport in college and staying active for life. This is a celebration of opportunity and access!” stated Ashley Thomas, Founder and CEO of Bridge II Sports.