Founder of adaptive sports organization speaks about impact of sports on people with disabilities

Ashley Thomas was born with spina bifida and uses a wheelchair. She also holds a position on the U.S. national para-kayak team, and founded and runs a successful nonprofit organization called "Bridge II Sports." The North Carolina-based organization develops programs that provide opportunities for children and adults with physical disabilities to play team and individual sports.

Ms. Thomas will be speaking about her experiences at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference & Exhibition (NCE) in New Orleans on Friday, Oct. 19.

Bridge II Sports organizes and develops adaptive sports for children and adults coping with multiple types of disabilities. In partnership with community organizations, Bridge II Sports provides the equipment, coaching and game space for a variety of sports, including basketball, tennis, golf, sitting volleyball, adaptive sports for blind athletes, track and field and Paralympic air rifle training. Bridge II Sports is a volunteer-based organization, which charges no fees for participation in its programs.

"It has been a journey, and some of my own life's are woven into the program and the philosophies," says Ms. Thomas. "As a person who was born with spina bifida, and as a mother of three children (one with dyslexia, one with attention-deficit disorder, and one with high-functioning autism), there are no accidents, only paths to be discovered building confidence, self-esteem and success. Disability never defines the person. One must own the weakness in order to build the strength."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Knee injuries on the rise in child and adolescent athletes

Oct 16, 2011

Sports-related knee injuries in children and adolescents seem to be increasing at an alarming rate. Researchers at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia noted a more than 400 percent increase in these injuries at their ...

Yahoo! takes to airwaves with sports radio

Aug 01, 2011

Yahoo! announced the launch Monday of Yahoo! Sports Radio as the Internet company seeks to turn its popularity as an online destination for sports fans into success over the airwaves.

Pay-to-play sports keeping lower-income kids out of the game

May 14, 2012

In an era of tight funding, school districts across the country are cutting their athletic budgets. Many schools are implementing athletic participation fees to cover the cost of school sports. But those fees have forced ...

Recommended for you

Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

Oct 24, 2014

A new study of foster care in Canada led by a researcher at Western University reveals a shrinking number of foster care providers are available across the country to care for a growing number of children with increasingly ...

Researchers prove the benefits of persimmons for diet

Oct 24, 2014

Alba Mir and Ana Domingo, researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Valencia, under the supervision of professors Miguel de la Guardia and Maria Luisa Cervera, from the same department, ...

Hand blenders used for cooking can emit persistent chemicals

Oct 24, 2014

Eight out of twelve tested models of hand blenders are leaking chlorinated paraffins when used according to the suppliers' instructions. This is revealed in a report from Stockholm University where researchers analyzed a ...

User comments