The Partners Advancing Character Education (PACE) Character Trait for August is Gratitude.
ParaSport Spokane officially kicked off at a barbeque on August 17, 2013. Just one year later, the organization can boast great successes on the court and at the track. However, the performance aspect of the program is secondary to the impact that we are seeing on the lives of our athletes.
Ask any of our athletes about what benefits they see from our programs and you will hear a deep sense of gratitude in the stories they tell.
Common themes we hear:
-I feel like people see me as an athlete first
-Sport has helped me see things positively
-I am now more independent and can travel alone
-I am more confident and outgoing
ParaSport Spokane is also family unit. Athletes who train and travel together build friendships and bonds that will last a lifetime. Parents of the athletes also benefit from the network and are able to share stories, challenges and successes with each other. They are seeing their children set goals, strive towards them and grow in the process.
ParaSport Spokane was created out of a resounding call for ongoing programming geared toward youth and adults with physical disabilities. A small group of athletes who have had their lives positively impacted by the Paralympic Sport movement were consulted in crafting how the ParaSport program operates and were clear that the program promote athletes with integrity and use sport as a catalyst for life. Our growing numbers are a testament to our success in attaining these goals. We are a vital program filling an important gap.
The Paralympic Sport movement is fraught with motivating stories. As these stories continue to be told and more and more people are being exposed to the benefits of sport for persons with physical disabilities. Everyone has a part to play in promoting opportunities such as these offered by ParaSport Spokane, if you see someone with a physical disability or vision impairment, say something to get them involved, they will surely appreciate it.