Disabled athletes from the University of Arizona performed an adaptive sporting demonstration as the final event of National Disability Employment Awareness Month at the Benko Fitness Center on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. Oct. 30.
Pete Hughes, University of Arizona women’s wheelchair basketball team head coach, along with a team of six coed athletes came to D-M with extra sport wheelchairs to participate in a basketball exhibition against Air Force members.
“The event was highly successful,” said Staff Sgt. Karolien Thornton, 25th Operational Weather Squadron zone supervisor. “We had a great turnout of spectators who were very enthusiastic about the contest. Even Col. Greg Williams, 355th Mission Support Group commander, got in on a match.”
The University of Arizona’s adaptive athletics program is the largest and most successful program of its kind in the country. The program provides disabled students and community members opportunities to participate fully in all the experiences higher education has to offer. The adaptive athletics program offers its own sports teams for men and women’s basketball, quad rugby, tennis, track and road racing.
“These athletes are an inspiration to the community and to members that wear a uniform,” Thornton said.
The adaptive sporting demo was the first of its kind on D-M.
“All in all, this event, which wrapped up the successful NDEAM campaign, was perfect,” Thornton said. “We were able to positively promote disability awareness and employment opportunities for those serving our country and our community.”