There’s something about the rush of wind past your face as you charge around a track, or the sound of a bat as you send a baseball past the pitcher. Several Madison-based organizations want to make those same sensations of joy and community in sports accessible to everyone.
Getting involved in sports can be a tall task, as a fan or player — learning rules and how to play can be overwhelming for any rookie. However, there can be an added challenge for people with disabilities.
“A lot of times in sport culture, there’s not necessarily a ton of space made or explicitly made for people with a disability,” says William Schultz, a coach for the power soccer team Wisconsin Warriors and a founding member of AccessiMingos, a Forward Madison FC supporters’ group. “We just want to let people know that space is there.”
Studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2018 show that more than one in four Americans has a disability, which today translates to nearly 82 million people.
Whether it’s building a rubberized baseball field for children with disabilities; offering sports competitions, leagues and training for adults; building accessible arenas; or renting bikes for families to enjoy cycling side by side, teams and program founders provide opportunities for everyone to get into the game and stay active. Here are a few teams and groups to consider if you want to cheer on a local team or get a taste of the action yourself.
Click one of the links to read about the different groups here: