WINDHAM, N.Y. – The Adaptive Sports Foundation has concluded its second and final Adaptive Skateboard Camp of the summer on Sunday. This summer’s first Adaptive Skateboard Camp occurred on July 16-17.
“This weekend has been great,” avid skateboarder and longtime ASF student Zachary Elder said “The last two weekends we’ve had through this program have been life-changing for so many people, for the ones who started skateboarding last year with the ASF, and now here we are a year later. We’re all stepping outside of our comfort zones, progressing with tricks and continuing to learn.”
Elder really pushed for the Adaptive Sports Foundation to create an event like this before the program was introduced a year ago. “Last year, when we first kicked this off, some students had never stepped foot on a board. Now they’re shredding pavement. I think it’s behind them, the fear of how you’re going to be scraped when you fall,” Elder said, comparing what he saw from last year’s camps to this year’s. “If you fall, you get back up and keep trying.
Students received instruction and skated from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. each day with lunch served at 11:30 a.m. Rich and Karen Elder, as well as Joyce and Dan Huang, provided and served the lunches. There were a variety of different foods served, from hamburgers and hot dogs, to pastas and Korean barbecue.
The ASF arranged to have Johnny O’Connor, a professional skater from right here in Windham, to serve as the camp’s head instructor. He, professional skateboard coach Frank Cabrera, and several other pro-level skateboard instructors spent both weekends encouraging the students to learn new tricks and build confidence on the board.
“The goal was to create a new outlet for the adaptive kids where they can learn how to skateboard and take it wherever they go,” O’Connor explained. “I’d say that goal has been accomplished, seeing the crew that has been coming out to these camps go home and skateboard is cool. This is the start of a new outlet for everyone, where they can skateboard on their own time in their own areas, keep learning and keep having fun.”
The Adaptive Sports Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides profound and life changing experiences for children and adults with physical disabilities, cognitive disabilities and chronic illnesses through outdoor physical activity, education, support and community.
Although this season’s skateboard camps have ended, the Adaptive Sports Foundation is excited to continue to grow this program in the years to come. If you’d like to donate to the Adaptive Skateboard Camp program, or any other program the ASF conducts during the year, click here.