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‘It’s very competitive’: Learning life lessons while playing adapted sports

CHICAGO (CBS) — Only on 2: Students in a southwest suburb are learning to play adapted sports, to raise awareness for individuals with disabilities.

They’re hoping to build a community without limits. CBS 2’s Shardaa Gray shows us their unique PE class.

At Reed Elementary School in Homer Glen, second and third graders are taking a different approach with their PE class.

“It’s very competitive, but we’re going to have a good time with this today, alright?”

Chris Coopman, a gym teacher at Oak Prairie Junior High School, invited Lincoln Way Special Recreation Association to the school after his son, who has autism, participated in their day camp.

The group provides recreation services for people with disabilities for eight park districts.

“Why am I limiting this to just the junior high, sixth through eighth, when every school in my district, K,1, 2, 3, 4, 5, needs to experience a PE takeover,” Coopman said.

“It’s a way that we find athletes that may be hidden within the population of the students,” said Keith Wallace Executive Director of Lincoln Way Special Recreation Association.

Students were introduced to wheelchair basketball, sit volleyball and goalball, where students are blindfolded, only to hear the ball coming towards them.

“It was fun,” said third grader Decklund Anglier.

“You couldn’t see anything, so you had to focus hearing the sounds in the ball. So we had to focus on hearing it,” added third grader Reese Corrigan.

The Lincoln Way Special Recreation Association said the reason they’re having these students participate in these special programs is so they can have a better understanding, including inclusion, of those with physical and developmental disabilities.

“Ya’ll got me chasing the ball. That ain’t right, that ain’t right.”

William Smith was shot during a carjacking in 1991. He’s paralyzed from the waist down. A volunteer with the organization, he taught the kids that anything is possible. 

“We in the chair. We’re disabled. How do we live our life? We explained that to them today,” Smith said.

District 92 staff will be playing LWSRA in a wheelchair basketball fundraiser game February 28th. 

Day 2 of PE Takeovers at Reed Elementry Elementary in Lockport Northern Will County Special Recreation Association #petakeover

Posted by Lincolnway Special Recreation Association on Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Source: CBS Chicago

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