Youth Challenge (YC), a leading provider of adapted sports and recreation in Northeast Ohio, received eight power wheelchairs to kick-off a Paralympic Power Soccer Program. Invacare Corp., the global leader in the manufacture and distribution of long-term care medical products, donated the power wheelchairs.
A group of Invacare employees presented YC with the power wheelchairs at Youth Challenge headquarters in Westlake. YC participants and volunteers then faced off in a series of 4-on-4 Power Soccer games, the first competitive team sport designed and developed specifically for power wheelchair users.
“Power Soccer gives many of the children at YC a unique opportunity to play a competitive team sport. Thanks to the generosity of Invacare, children who utilize power wheelchairs can now join a team, learn a skill, and partake in friendly organized competition,” says Chris Garr, Youth Challenge Director of Program Services. “We are excited to develop those athletes who show promise and make competitive sports a reality. Invacare’s generous gift of eight power wheelchairs, coupled with a grant from Northern Ohio Golf Charities to purchase equipment, allows us to bring team sports to power wheelchair athletes who previously had few opportunities for team athletics. We plan to introduce the sport to our participants throughout the winter and spring months, and kick off our formal team training in September 2014.”
“Invacare is pleased to be able to participate in this event with Youth Challenge and all of their amazing athletes and volunteers,” says Judson Cummins, Business Manager, Powered Mobility at Invacare Corporation. “Invacare’s goal of ‘Making Life’s Experiences Possible’ is realized when organizations like Youth Challenge recognize how important camaraderie, competition, and teamwork are in all our lives, but especially in our youth with different abilities. We’re very excited to help Youth Challenge expand their sports offering with Power Soccer and we look forward to many successes on the court in the future.”
Youth Challenge provides adapted sports and recreational opportunities to children with physical disabilities. Trained teen volunteers are paired one-on-one with participants to play, socialize and have fun. YC serves children throughout Northeast Ohio and has offices in Westlake and Shaker Heights. The nonprofit has been designated Paralympic Sports Club—Cleveland, by the U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee. As a Paralympic Sport Club, YC will continue to introduce adaptive sports to children with physical disabilities while also promoting athletics and teamwork.
Pictured: Invacare employees celebrate the launch of the Youth Challenge Paralympic Power Soccer program with the YC gang.