Two ParaSport Spokane athletes competing in Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

Video transcript:

Speaker 2: Come on Amber. Go six.

Bob: So, I'm Bob. I love to get rowdy. I love to flip on my basketball chair. I started back with ParaSport back in 1998. Teresa was my occupational therapist at my school at elementary in third grade. And she's like, "Do you want to play basketball?" I'm like, "Yes, please."

Teresa Skinner: My name is Teresa Skinner and I am the executive director of ParaSport Spokane. In addition to building athletes, we're building athletes with integrity. We are striving to not just hopefully have them be active and find joy in being active, and joy in playing sports, and joy in being part of a team, but also confidence in themselves so that they can go on and do the things that all of us have access to do. I think one thing that is the fascinating and unique about being involved with adaptive sports on the coaching side or on the executive director program development side, is that realizing that so many of, whether they're youth or adults, come with so many predisposed ideas about what they think is possible. And that comes from the media, it comes from their families, it comes from the community. And we like to say that at ParaSport, we blow the doors off of those perceptions and those preconceived notions about what's possible.

Sophie Munter: I'm Sophie Munter. I'm a student athlete at Eastern Washington University. I play wheelchair basketball and I also do track. Being involved with ParaSport Spokane has been a real journey, very exciting. Teresa led me to a path of being an independent woman.

Teresa Skinner: So we started ParaSport Spokane in 2013 with, I think we had 12 athletes and about five staff, which everyone was volunteers, including myself. And we just started making it happen, we started with track and field and basketball. And we started growing the program and reaching out into the community of therapists, of families, and trying to really pull as many people, adults and youth, out of the woodwork into doing something active and athletic.

Bob: So, the nice thing about ParaSport is I get to change my life since day one. It helps kids, not just with wheelchair sports in general, it shows them how they become independent also on top of it. They learn to use the bathroom routines. Me, I learned how to drive. I'm going to school now to play on a wheelchair basketball team. Just because it just showed me that I can be normal as anyone else and do as exactly everyone else can do. And yes there is a little bit of adaptations, but we want to do it. And luckily Teresa pulled these pieces out and taught me how to do it. So then I can show other kids now.

Elizabeth Floch: I'm Elizabeth Floch. And I have been with ParaSport for seven years, I think. And I do wheelchair basketball and track, and apparently hockey right now. Parasports has definitely motivated me to do things outside of my own comfort zone because before it's kind of hard to go travel somewhere. It's kind of scary. But then they kind of helped me have confidence and also independence to do more stuff than I thought I could ever do or achieve.

Teresa Skinner: We know there's a billion other things that you get out of sport. We really just use sport as a catalyst for life because it changes everything. And it changes not just the person involved, not just the athlete or disability, it changes everyone around them, their perception of how they see them. The ripple effect is unbelievable. You just got to dive in and get it done.

Bob: I want to get up to the D two level where I'm coaching the adult team, just step up in a way. Of course, got to keep those goals up.

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