More children and youth with disabilities can now experience and participate in team sports like basketball and power soccer thanks to a $25,000 donation from Thunderbirds Charities that was used to buy ten specialty sports wheelchairs for the Virginia G. Piper Sports & Fitness Center for Persons with Disabilities (SpoFit).
“For children with spina bifida, a spinal cord injury or other disabilities, this incredibly generous donation opens up tremendous opportunities to explore new sports, learn new skills and simply have fun,” said Phil Pangrazio, President & CEO of Arizona Bridge to Independent Living (ABIL) which operates and manages SpoFit, one of only two facilities of its kind in the nation. “Instead of watching from the sidelines or on TV, they can be on the court and part of the action.”
Thunderbirds Charities association with SpoFit, a program of Arizona Bridge to Independent Living (ABIL), began before the building was built in 2011 with a $100,000 contribution toward the capital campaign. The organization followed with a $25,000 grant during SpoFit’s first year of operation to provide adaptive fitness and recreation programs and specialized classes.
“We are excited to be able to provide opportunities for more kids to come out and engage in more sports activities,” said Tom King, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “We’re extremely proud of our relationship with SpoFit and the value and benefits this venue and ABIL bring to the community.”
SpoFit holds monthly clinics for youth wheelchair basketball and power soccer. The clinics, sponsored by SpoFit and MaxinMotion, are scheduled August 16, October 18 and December 13 for power soccer and September 20 and November 22 for wheelchair basketball. Clinics begin with 9 a.m. check-in and include lunch.
For more information, visit www.spofit.org.