By Richard Rhinehart
Boston, Massachusetts, November 5, 2014 – National non-profit World T.E.A.M. Sports will continue its long partnership with Boston’s Ultimate Sports Program through sponsorship of the organization’s November 7 Celtics Experience.
At Friday’s Boston Celtics-Indiana Pacers National Basketball Association game, 28 disabled and able-bodied children from the Ultimate Sports Program will participate in a special halftime basketball game on the fabled TD Garden court. Eight Ultimate Sports Program children will cheer on the players as cheerleaders for the halftime contest, and another 20 children will arrive early at the Garden to watch the professional Celtics and Pacers players warm up for their game.
Following the halftime basketball contest, the full Ultimate Sports Program team will create a “fan tunnel” to welcome the Celtics players back onto the court for the second half. For many of the young participants, the tunnel offers an opportunity to see and greet professional athletes.
Participating children in the eighth annual Celtics Experience will receive official commemorative shirts, as well as Promenade section seats for the Celtics-Pacers game. Interested families applied for the event in August.
High profile events like the Celtics Experience provide the Ultimate Sports Program an opportunity to reach New England families with disabled children, who might otherwise be unaware of the program. These families and children then participate in the organization’s sporting events throughout the year.
“USP has grown to 740 families and our annual partnership with World T.E.A.M. Sports is a big reason,” said Steve Berube, the organization’s program director. “We use our Celtics Experience to help us reach out to more families with typical kids. Most of our new families during the year are families who have a child with special needs who are looking for an avenue for them to experience sports. The Celtics game helps many high end youth athletes to realize how much they can get out of playing the game for fun and companionship, which is our ultimate goal.”
World T.E.A.M. Sports’ sponsorship of Ultimate Sports Program sporting events is reflective of a commitment of creating and supporting inclusive sporting events for disabled children. The Holbrook, New York-based nonprofit organization has created numerous events for children and young adults, including the Adventure Team Challenges in Harris, New York and in Washington, D.C.
“World T.E.A.M. Sports is excited to continue our relationship with Boston’s Ultimate Sports Program by providing innovative opportunities for children with disabilities,” said Van Brinson, CEO and President. “Events such as the Celtics Experience provide a unique opportunity for the children, but also raise awareness in the general population. We hope to continue this event for years to come.”
“USP runs most of our weekly programs free of charge and free of a weekly commitment,” explained Berube. “This has gone a long way to convincing families with special needs kids to try new sports. Our special events have a cost attached which can hinder many families from taking part, and World T.E.A.M. Sports’ generosity is appreciated by all. Our two biggest events during the year are the Celtics and Bruins Experiences, both run in partnership with World T.E.A.M. Sports.”
About Ultimate Sports Program
Partnering with Massachusetts’ non-profit organization, The Association for Community Living, Ultimate Sports Program creates sporting programs in football, basketball, sled hockey and many outdoor activities for special needs children and teens age six to 21.