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

October 19, 2012

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."

Explore further: Knee injuries on the rise in child and adolescent athletes

Related Stories

Knee injuries on the rise in child and adolescent athletes

October 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 ...

New research re-introduces athletes with learning difficulties into the Paralympic Games

August 22, 2012
As a result of extensive research and a robust new classification system conducted by academics at Canterbury Christ Church University, athletes are now eligible to compete again in the London 2012 Paralympics.

Yahoo! takes to airwaves with sports radio

August 1, 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.

Disabled athletes face segregation in coaching researchers say

September 3, 2012
Researchers from our Department of Education say attitudes in coaching towards disabled people need to change in order for more people to engage in sport.

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 ...

Sports safety: Get geared up and always warm up

April 20, 2012
April is Youth Sports Safety Month. Each year, more than 3.5 million children under the age of 15 are treated for sports injuries nationwide. Roughly half of these injuries are sustained in solo activities, while approximately ...

Recommended for you

Breathing dirty air may harm kidneys, study finds

September 21, 2017
Outdoor air pollution has long been linked to major health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A new study now adds kidney disease to the list, according to ...

Excess dietary manganese promotes staph heart infection

September 21, 2017
Too much dietary manganese—an essential trace mineral found in leafy green vegetables, fruits and nuts—promotes infection of the heart by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus ("staph").

Being active saves lives whether a gym workout, walking to work or washing the floor

September 21, 2017
Physical activity of any kind can prevent heart disease and death, says a large international study involving more than 130,000 people from 17 countries published this week in The Lancet.

Frequent blood donations safe for some, but not all

September 21, 2017
(HealthDay)—Some people may safely donate blood as often as every eight weeks—but that may not be a healthy choice for all, a new study suggests.

Higher manganese levels in children correlate with lower IQ scores, study finds

September 21, 2017
A study led by environmental health researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine finds that children in East Liverpool, Ohio with higher levels of Manganese (Mn) had lower IQ scores. The research appears ...

Higher levels of fluoride in pregnant woman linked to lower intelligence in their children

September 20, 2017
Fluoride in the urine of pregnant women shows a correlation with lower measures of intelligence in their children, according to University of Toronto researchers who conducted the first study of its kind and size to examine ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.