Sportable began as a VCU school project led by two certified therapeutic recreation specialists, and with vision, teamwork and community support has grown into the nonprofit organization that it is today. The VCU Sports Leadership program continues to aid Sportable in its endeavors by providing volunteers and assistance with sport programming and special events.
Sportable exists to facilitate change needed in the community – looking beyond one’s physical limitations and empowering them to focus on their abilities. Sportable offers thirteen different adaptive sports programs annually (i.e. adaptive rowing, swimming, kayaking, wheelchair basketball, etc.), unique sports clinics, and special events for our athletes, families and community partners. These programs become catalysts for creating opportunities and transforming lives for our athletes with physical disabilities and visual impairments. Sportable serves athletes with a wide variety of physical impairments, ages 5 years through adult.
The majority of the children in the program, housed in the Mary and Frances Youth Center on VCU's Monroe Park Campus, come from single-parent homes in which 60 percent of the households earn an annual income of less than $15,000 and 84 percent of the children receive free lunch at school. VCU and Genworth Financial recognize these alarming statistics and want to do their part to help the Richmond community, especially its children.
Since 2011 the CSL has worked closely with Sportable to help create and implement an inspiring annual event to showcase some of the exciting things done regularly at Sportable. The Paralympic Eperience, first started in 2012, highlights numerous Paralympic-style events. This event is designed to introduce both potential athletes and volunteers to Sportable. Furthermore, this event is an opportunity for current Sportable athletes to showcase their athletic skills and current CSL students to showcase their event management skills. CSL students also regularly volunteer at Sportable throughout the school year.
The team’s culture includes integrity, passion, team spirit, and ingenuity in order to fulfill the organization’s brand pillars: Freeing athletes to see beyond their disabilities, Building peer relationships and reducing social isolation, and Facilitating physical and attitudinal change in the community. As Sportable continues to progress, we always need the community’s help! Whether a potential athlete, volunteer, or supporter, please check out our website at http://www.sportable.org. We look forward to having a relationship with you, as we do with VCU.