Adaptive fitness events Saturday open to students of all abilities

November 6, 2014

Photo: People playing sitting volleyball, some in wheelchairs

Participants play sitting volleyball during a Badger ADAPT paralympics event at the SERF (Southeast Recreation Facility) in November, 2013. This year’s Badger ADAPT event will be held Saturday, Nov. 8.

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The University of Wisconsin–Madison Division of Recreational Sports, along with UW Kinesiology Adapted Fitness, will host Badgers ADAPT on Saturday, Nov. 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Southeast Recreational Facility.

Badgers ADAPT is a Rec Sports initiative to provide adaptive and Paralympic sports, events and activities. Athletes of all abilities are encouraged to attend and participate in Badgers ADAPT.

“Badgers ADAPT gives students with disabilities the opportunity to compete alongside other students on this campus. All participants have the opportunity to learn the value of recreation and of building lifelong healthy habits,” says Ashley Lax, coordinator of competitive sports at the division.

Graphic: Badgers ADAPT logo

Rec Sports started Badgers ADAPT so that students of all abilities would have access to recreational opportunities. Besides being more inclusionary to all populations with the program, Badgers ADAPT aims to educate all participants on the different skills a person must develop to adapt to different situations.

“We want students on campus to be exposed to adaptive sports and activities. Most students will never encounter an adaptive sport, so giving them an opportunity to play and experience this is a very powerful education tool,” Lax says.

Two Badgers ADAPT events were held in the 2013-2014 school year with over 125 participants. This year’s event includes a sitting volleyball tournament, power soccer, and cross country skiing Paralympic time trials. Steve Baskis, a biathlete and adventurist who became blind while serving in the U.S. Army, will speak at the event. There will also be a presentation by Rewalk, a company building robotics to help wheelchair users walk.

“I hope students take away an understanding of others. Diversity in all forms is important to the development of students on this campus. After participating in Badgers ADAPT, I hope students have a deeper appreciation for individual diversity,” said Lax.

In addition to Rec Sports and UW Kinesiology Adapted Fitness, partners include University Housing and the McBurney Disability Resource Center. The event is free and is open to the public. Registration is open via www.recsports.wisc.edu for the sitting volleyball tournament. Registration is not required for any of the other activities.