Area Sports and Leisure

Here’s a round-up of other local resources offering adaptive sports, leisure and recreation options for both adults and children with disabilities.

• Aiken-Augusta Swim League: The league hosts the Fred Lamback Disability Meet every fall, a U.S. Paralympic event. The U.S. Paralympics Swimming Developmental Camp and the U.S. Paralympic Military Swimming Development Camp are held in conjunction with the event for anyone interested in being involved in U.S. Paralympic swimming. Contact: Neil Harper, (706) 726-5113, aslcoachneil@gmail.com.

• Aiken Parks, Recreation & Tourism: The city of Aiken offers a Buddy Baseball program for children and adults with disabilities. The program pairs adaptive players with a “buddy” who assists with fielding the baseball, batting and running the bases. Games take place on Mondays at 6 p.m. at USC Aiken’s Robert Hernandez Baseball Stadium and Citizens Park. Contact: Jerry Shedd, (803) 641-2992, jshedd1@att.net.

• Augusta Recreation, Parks and Facilities Department: Parks facilities are available for use by local groups and most are wheelchair accessible (the only exception may be due to the age of the building). A fully accessible playground is open in May Park. Senior activities are also available. Contact: Joanie Smith, (706) 796-4095.

• Augusta Sports Council: The GRU Augusta Half Marathon & 10K is one of the ASC’s signature events and features a wheelchair division for the half marathon. It takes place in February. To sign up: visit www.augustahalf.org.

• American Association of Adapted Sports: The American Association of Adapted Sports Programs (AAASP), headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia has developed one of the nation’s most comprehensive school-based athletic programs for children with physical disabilities attending grades 1-12 (ages 6 to 21). The Richmond County School System is a partner. Participating athletes compete against other school systems and can earn letters. Sports available include: wheelchair basketball (manual only) and wheelchair handball. Contact: Kristy Olive, (706) 339-0596, olivekr@boe.richmond.k12.ga.us

Columbia County Schools Special Olympics Training: Columbia County Schools has an accredited Special Olympics training program. Students ages 5 to 22 who qualify and are enrolled in classes for children with special needs  in Columbia County Schools are trained in a variety of community based sports including: swimming, bowling, gymnastics, life fitness, tennis, basketball, track and field events. They also offer a life fitness skills class where they introduce students to a different program at the Family Y each week for 4 weeks—yoga, zumba, new adapted weight room, spinning and gymnastics/climbing wall. Contact: Ann Comer, acomer@ccboe.net.

• Family Y: Miracle League, a baseball league designed for children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities; and Katie’s Pool, the largest public therapy pool in the Southeast

• Jessye Norman School for the Arts: The nonprofit arts school also offers programming for children with physical disabilities.

• North Augusta Parks & Recreation Department: Local groups may use their facilities. An adaptive playground recently opened in Riverview Park.

• The RECing Crew: The RECing Crew offers leisure and recreational opportunities for individuals with disabilities from the CSRA. Currently over 150 individuals, ranging in the ages from 6-78, participate in one or more of the RECing Crew’s programs:

Alley Cats (Bowling)
ART-ability Studio (Art & Music)
Chorus (Crew Chorus)
Cruisers (Social activities in the community)
Jazzercise
Joyful Harmony (Music geared toward those with Autism)
T-RecS (Adaptive Baseball & Basketball)

• Southeastern Paralyzed Veterans Association: SEPVA offers a number of programs throughout the Southeast. Locally, they offer Georgia Hawks wheelchair basketball, hunting, fishing and adaptive cycling. See the website for more details.

• Virginia’s Playground: Located at 605 Reynolds St., adjacent to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, the playground was the first universally accessible playground in Georgia when it opened in 2002.