Events/News

Disabled Teens Discover Adventure in First Adventure Team Challenge – Washington DC

BY PAUL BREMER

Arlington, Virginia, August 15, 2011 – “I’ve never done anything like it before in my life! It was a great experience!” With these breathless words, a disabled teenager summarized his participation in the two day Adventure Team Challenge – Washington DC organized by World T.E.A.M. Sports in Washington August 9-10.

Participants at the 2011 Adventure Team Challenge - Washington DC

Participants of the 2011 Adventure Team Challenge - Washington DC gather prior to the event. (World T.E.A.M. Sports photograph.)

This inaugural event on the scenic Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park saw eight Washington area teenagers compete in three sports-orienteering and hiking, mountain biking, and canoeing. After a first day of training and safety clinics in all three sports, participants gathered August 10 under bright blue skies for the competition.

Participants hiking during the 2011 Adventure Team Challenge - Washington DC

Team members hike during the 2011 Adventure Team Challenge - Washington DC. (World T.E.A.M. Sports photograph.)

Shortly after 9:30 a.m., the Team Challengers launched into a mile long hike along the “Billy Goat Trail” which winds along the Potomac River at Carderock Park, about ten miles northwest of the District of Columbia. Each team consisted of one disabled teenager, a “buddy” teenaged teammate, and an adult team member. The disabled teens and their buddies were recruited by the Washington chapter of the not-for-profit Dreams for Kids. The adults volunteered from Push America, a national not-for-profit headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Cycling at the 2011 Adventure Team Challenge - Washington DC

Cycling at the 2011 Adventure Team Challenge - Washington DC was a new experience for participants with disabilities. (World T.E.A.M. Sports photograph.)

The eight teams set off at five minute intervals for a hike that included some difficult and potentially dangerous rocky terrain through thick woods. Every team reached the end, inspired by wonderful views of the Potomac River as they navigated the path.

After pausing to drink water and grab granola bars for snacking, the teams transitioned onto mountain bikes for a seven mile ride along the famous tow path that borders the historic C & O Canal. As the temperature rose into the high 80s, the bikers refreshed themselves at several water stops manned by volunteers at scenic locks on the canal. The tow path is sandy and in places has gravel, so some riders took accidental tumbles during their rides. But as each team member had been provided a small first aid kit, they were able to quickly bandage themselves and carry on with no serious injuries.

Canoeing in the 2011 Adventure Team Challenge - Washington DC

Teams transitioned to canoes for the final leg of the 2011 Adventure Team Challenge - Washington DC. (World T.E.A.M. Sports photograph.)

By about noon, most of the teams had arrived at Fletcher’s Cove boat house ready to drink some more water and then transition into canoes for the water segment of the Challenge. The teams paddled back up the canal for about a half mile and turned to finish at Fletcher’s. Several of the disabled athletes had never been in a canoe before but quickly overcame any uncertainty after climbing aboard.

All the participants were exhausted but exhilarated when they finished their last segment of the Challenge. The entire group-almost 100 strong, including volunteers-then enjoyed a satisfying picnic lunch on the grounds of Fletcher’s Boat House. Van Brinson, World T.E.A.M. Sports’ Chief Operations Officer, handed out awards to the teams that finished each individual portion of the event. He also provided an award to the team that won the overall event. He also granted two special “Exceptional Spirit” awards to 12-year-old Enjoshua and 16-year-old Jerry for their extraordinary performances throughout the day.

Van Brinson provides award to Enjoshua

Enjoshua, an Exceptional Spirit Award winner, shows off his award with Van Brinson, World T.E.A.M. Sports' Chief Operations Officer. (World T.E.A.M. Sports photograph.)

Participating athletes received a packet of materials from World T.E.A.M. Sports, including outdoor sporting gear provided by Recreational Equipment Inc. Provided items included a map, compass, first aid kit, and water bottle. All participants also received a commemorative Adventure Teen Challenge t-shirt and a medal for their effort.

The Adventure Team Challenge – Washington DC was sponsored in part by the HSC Foundation, the Dralla Foundation, Push America, Dreams for Kids, Recreational Equipment Inc. and Revolution Cycles.

Official 2011 Adventure Team Challenge – Washington DC Results

Overall Champion:
TEAM 7 Brad (disabled competitor)
TEAM 7 Kendan
TEAM 7 Jhonatan

First Place Hike:

TEAM 1 Dashawn (disabled competitor)
TEAM 1 Ryan
TEAM 1 Glenda

First Place Bike:

TEAM 7 Brad (disabled competitor)
TEAM 7 Kendan
TEAM 7 Jhonatan

First Place Canoe:

TEAM 2 Cortez (disabled competitor)
TEAM 2 Max
TEAM 2 Andrew

Jerry displays his ATC 2011 award with his parents

Jerry, an Exceptional Spirit Award winner, poses with his parents and his award. (World T.E.A.M. Sports photograph.)

Exceptional Spirit Awards:

TEAM 4 Enjoshua (disabled competitor)
TEAM 4 Zack
TEAM 4 Kirby

TEAM 8 Jerry (disabled competitor)
TEAM 8 Cory
TEAM 8 Douglas
TEAM 8 Alex

Learn More About the 2011 Adventure Team Challenge – Washington DC

Official Adventure Team Challenge – Washington DC Flickr Gallery

Exceptional Teenage Athletes to Compete in Inaugural Adventure Team Challenge – Washington DC (August 3, 2011)

Washington media cover the 2011 Adventure Team Challenge - Washington DC

The Adventure Team Challenge - Washington DC gained some local Washington media attention. Here, Leon Harris from Washington's WJLA Television interviews a participant. (World T.E.A.M. Sports photograph.)