BY RICHARD RHINEHART
Arlington, Virginia, August 3, 2011– The inspiration of a disabled suburban Chicago teenager in 1960 will pass to a new generation when 24 disabled and non-disabled teenaged children actively participate in the inaugural Adventure Team Challenge – Washington DC from World T.E.A.M. Sports August 9-10.
Held in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park in Washington and Maryland, the inclusive event includes mountain biking, canoeing, and orienteering. It provides an opportunity for teenaged children with disabilities to participate with the non-disabled in outdoor sports. The Team Challenge includes 12 teams of two competitors – one disabled, the other non-disabled. Participants will work together to successfully complete each stage and cross the finish line together.
“This is the unique aspect of all our events. We always combine able bodied and disabled participants,” World T.E.A.M. Sports CEO Paul Bremer explained. “When we do that, three things always happen. The disabled build confidence and increase physical fitness. They serve as a great role model to others with disabilities. And finally, able bodied participants, even spectators, are amazed to see what disabled people can accomplish.”
The Washington, D.C. chapter of the non-profit Dreams for Kids is partnering with World T.E.A.M. Sports to invite competitors aged 13 to 18 to the Challenge. Sponsors include Push America, The HSC Foundation, The Dralla Foundation, Revolution Cycles and Recreational Equipment Inc.
The 12 disabled participants will experience the thrill of outdoor sports, something that Ricky Prine of McHenry, Illinois was not afforded a half century ago. Consistently excluded from high school athletic activities owing to his disabilities, Prine was a friend and colleague of World T.E.A.M. Sports founder James Benson. Benson made a commitment to himself that he would devote a portion of his life to helping the disabled experience challenging outdoor activities.
“He was in a wheelchair,” Benson recalled of Prine in 2007. “He could only move his hands and head a little bit. He was as disabled as you possibly could be physically, but he was as alive as you possibly could be – mentally and emotionally. Ricky Prine was a very bright man. While he couldn’t move his arms or legs, his mind was fertile and he never had a bad day. He had the best attitude of any individual I’ve ever encountered.”
World T.E.A.M. Sports is an Arlington, Virginia-based non-profit organization creating and managing inclusive sporting activities for disabled and non-disabled athletes. From the popular Face of America ride from Washington to Gettysburg each April, to the demanding Adventure TEAM Challenge in the high mountains of Colorado, World T.E.A.M. changes lives through bringing together exceptional athletes.
Push America is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina and is dedicated to raising funds and awareness for people with disabilities through programs and events nationwide. Dreams for Kids is an international youth organization and 501(c) (3) children’s charity, with a mission to empower young people of all abilities through dynamic leadership programs and life-changing activities. By helping others find their dreams, they can realize their own.