Badgers ADAPT offers activities for athletes of all abilities

November 5, 2015

Photo: Sitting volleyball game

Participants play sitting volleyball during a Badger ADAPT paralympics event in 2013. This year’s activities will be Nov. 7 at the Southeast Recreational Facility.

Photo:

Badgers ADAPT, a Rec Sports initiative to provide adaptive and Paralympic sports, events and activities, takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7 at the Southeast Recreational Facility, 715 W. Dayton St.

Athletes of all abilities are encouraged to attend and participate in the event, hosted by the University of Wisconsin–Madison Division of Recreational Sports, along with UW Kinesiology Adapted Fitness.

“We want students on campus to be exposed to adaptive sports and activities,” says Ashley Lax, assistant director of competitive sports at Rec Sports. “Most students will never encounter an adaptive sport, so giving them an opportunity to play and experience this is a very powerful education tool. Badgers ADAPT also gives students with disabilities the opportunity to compete alongside other students on campus.”

Lax helped start Badgers ADAPT in 2013 as an opportunity for students of all abilities to access recreational activities. In addition to offering a variety of fun activities, Rec Sports also hopes to use sports as an educational tool at the event. Participants will learn about the skills and resources required to adapt to various activities.

“Attending Badgers ADAPT gave me a new perspective and understanding for the many options for adapted fitness and how individuals with different abilities can defy their limitations,” says Makenzie Kirk, a UW–Madison senior who attended the event last year. Kirk is co-president of the American Medical Student Association (UW Premedical Chapter) and parade director for the UW Homecoming Committee.

This year’s event includes a sitting volleyball tournament, power soccer, sit ski, an adapted obstacle course, a Special Olympics futsal clinic, vendors and several guest speakers. Members of the UW-Whitewater wheelchair basketball team, a consistent contender in the national championships, will speak about their experiences. Randy Meyers, the mayor of Sheboygan Falls who became blind as a 2-year-old, will share his inspiring story as well.

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

UW Kinesiology Adapted Fitness is co-hosting the event. Other partners include University Housing and the McBurney Disability Resource Center. The event is free and 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.

—Alex Pierce