Washington D.C. Team Challenge to Thrill Disabled Teen Participants

By Richard Rhinehart

July 15, 2014, Washington, D.C. – On July 19, 16 teenagers with developmental and emotional disabilities will join 20 able-bodied athletes in World T.E.A.M. Sports’ third Adventure Team Challenge in suburban Washington, D.C.

Riders at the 2013 Adventure Team Challenge - Washington DC.

Riders at the 2013 Adventure Team Challenge – Washington DC. Photograph by Kimberly Warpinski.

Hosted at the scenic Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park by the national non-profit, the Challenge offers participants three stages of outdoor sporting activities, including off-road bicycling, hiking and canoeing. For many of these disabled teens, the Challenge will offer their first opportunity to explore the outdoors.

“This event showcases the ability of children with and without disabilities to accomplish significant physical feats when placed in a team environment,” said World T.E.A.M. Sports CEO and President Van Brinson. “The terrain around the C&O Canal gives us a great variety of challenges to work with in creating this event and is always enjoyable for all involved.”

Participating teens in the Challenge live with conditions ranging from autism to Down syndrome to Cerebral Palsy and Asperger syndrome. Ranging in age from 11 to 18 years, many of these teens have no previous experience in riding bicycles or paddling canoes.

Participants prepare a canoe.

At the 2013 Adventure Team Challenge – Washington D.C., participants prepare a canoe for use in the canal. Photograph by Kimberly Warpinski.

Beginning at the Carderock Recreation Area just outside the beltway, and ending at the Boathouse at Fletcher’s Cove, the multi-mile Challenge is closely guided by Push America volunteers, who make certain all participants finish safely.

Participants will hike one mile on a Carderock trail, ride seven miles along the C & O Canal gravel pathway on bicycles, and paddle the historic canal by canoe one-half mile. Following the final stage, participants will gather with parents and families for a celebration and the awarding of completion medals.

“I’ve never done anything like it before in my life! It was a great experience,” exclaimed one enthusiastic participant upon completing the inaugural Challenge in 2011.

Sponsors for the 2014 Adventure Team Challenge Washington D.C. include SUBWAY of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Edible Arrangements. Event partners include KEEN Greater DC, Push America and Dreams for Kids.

About World T.E.A.M. Sports
World T.E.A.M. Sports is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization chartered in North Carolina and headquartered in Holbrook, New York. Since 1993, World T.E.A.M. Sports has organized athletic events for disabled and able bodied citizens – mountain climbing, white water rafting, biking, and more. Four things always happen at our events: (1) Disabled participants build self-confidence and physical fitness; (2) The disabled provide a role model for other disabled citizens, encouraging them to take up physical activities; (3) The disabled become a moving inspiration to other participants and to spectators when they see that disabled individuals can meet challenges beyond anyone’s imagination; and (4) The disabled and able-bodied participants learn to work as a team to overcome those challenges. World T.E.A.M. Sports changes lives through sports.

Team members at the 2013 Challenge.

Athletes at the 2013 Adventure Team Challenge – Washington D.C. Photograph by Kimberly Warpinski.