Adaptive sports help disabled individuals break down barriers

Local News

In an effort to integrate people with disabilities into the community, the Northeast Disabled Athletic Association held its first open house Sunday at Leddy Park in Burlington.

NDAA enables people with disabilities to engage in their favorite sports by making a few modifications to the equipment.

“It’s tailored first to the sport, you change the sporting equipment without changing the integrity of the sport, and then you change the equipment to fit the specific athlete,” said Patrick Standen, NDAA’s founder and board president.

Nate Besio said he suffered a spinal cord injury when he was 14 years old.

“Until I had that accident I was very active,” he said. “I played basketball, baseball, I swam, I did track. I spent a long time wanting to participate in those sports again and a lot of times I was an observer.”

The open house showcased NDAA sports, including chair tennis, adaptive sailing, hand cycling, sled hockey, kayaking, and a power soccer team.

“Today’s about getting people to try the equipment and maybe they’ll get hooked and want to try it again,” Standen said.

For more information on getting involved, visit http://www.disabledathletics.org/

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