WBZ Cares: Skills And Confidence

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Each month, “WBZ Cares” highlights a worthy non-profit organization and tells the story of what that organization does for the community. This month WBZ is profiling Adaptive Sports New England, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing participation in sports and physical activity among New England youth and young adults who have visual or mobility disabilities.

WBZ Cares features the Boston non-profit Adaptive Sports New England.

“A lot of these kids are the only one in their school who have a visual or physical impairment, and to go into a program and realize, wow, I'm not the only one and be able to talk about that and make friendships,” stated Adaptive Sports New England Operations Manager Ann LeVarn.

That's Operations Manager Ann LeVarn. She says the organization works with area schools, leagues, and clubs to make modifications to help get more kids and young adults with visual or mobility impairments involved in sports.

“One of the goals of some of the programming that we offer is to get the kids the skills and the confidence that they'll feel comfortable joining a high school swim team, or high school track and field program, or a swim program at the YMCA. And one of our big goals is so kids can play in their backyard with their siblings and their friends,” outlined LeVarn.

 Ethan Linsky has cerebral palsy. 

“I learned a ton about myself and the world through athletic experiences and team sports,” said Adaptive Sports New England Wheelchair Basketball Coach Ethan Linsky.

Through Adaptive Sports others are getting that same opportunity. Ethan coaches wheelchair basketball for the non-profit. He says through sports these young athletes are building their confidence and learning valuable life lessons.

“These are life skills, but they're applicable to sports, right, so I'm always saying ‘Communicate. This is a team sport. You can succeed as a group. Can't succeed individually. You need to be loud. You need to be heard. And as an individual with a disability you need to be a self-advocate, so if you need help, you have to initiate how you're going to get that help and how that help should be executed’”, concluded Linsky.

WBZ NewsRadio1030's Shari Small Reports

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