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 Adaptive Sports New England.
“The statistics are really sad. Eight out of 10 kids with a physical disability do not participate in sports,” commented Chris Babcock, an Adaptive Sports New England Board Member.
Chris Babcock is on the non-profit's Board of Directors.
“Think about how much of your life growing up or being part of a team, whether you're competitive or not it doesn't matter. Learning to win, learning to lose, learning how to work as a team, and these boys and girls, men and women, don't have that opportunity and Adaptive Sports New England gives it to them,” outlined Babcock.
Chris also has a 16-year-old visually impaired daughter, so he’s seen firsthand how the disabled can benefit from the program.
“They've really helped increase her confidence, increase her ability to compete on an even playing field. So the blind kids trip over the amputees legs. No one says ‘why are you missing an arm?’ The wheelchair kids bump into the blind kids. They're at these events to compete and to really give it their all. They don't care what your condition is. They don't care what you look like. They're gonna kick your butt. That's it. Yeah, I guarantee if anyone goes to an Adaptive Sports event they're going to fall in love,” Babcock said.
“I was born with aniridia glaucoma which leaves me completely blind in my right eye and legally blind in my left eye,” said 16-year-old Maddie Babcock, an Adaptive Sports Swimming Program member.
Chris's daughter Maddie competes at the national level for Paralympic swimming.
“I want to make 2024 Paralympics. We have two coaches who are Paralympians. So they worked with other disabled athletes, so they know how to tailor technique work and things to my disability,” stated Maddie Babcock.
She's been in the Adaptive Sports swim program for about five years.
“It's nice being around people who like understand what it's like swimming with a disability, and you're not, like you're not different because everyone has their own disability. Everyone else has their own struggle. So you're not being looked at as different or not normal because you do something in a different way, which is very nice because when you are with able-bodied people sometimes people are like, ‘Why are you doing it that way? You should be doing it this way.’ It’s like, ‘Well, I can't do it that way’,” concluded Maddie Babcock.
WBZ NewsRadio1030's Shari Small Reports