Ability First Sports Camp Welcomes Youth with Disabilities June 21-27

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: 06-15-2015

Ernesto Rivera, editorial assistant
Public Affairs and Publications
530-898-4143
Laura McLachlin, co-director
Ability First Sports Camp
530-588-0335

Young people with physical disabilities will be making California State University, Chico their home June 21–27 as they participate in the 30th annual Ability First Sports Camp on campus.

Ability First campers at playThe camp is committed to enhancing the quality of life for its campers as they learn sports fundamentals and experience athletic competition. Campers also gain skills in completing daily life activities and are exposed to college life, including how to obtain scholarships.

The weeklong sports camp, for students ages 8 through 17, will provide opportunities to engage in a variety of sports including adapted aquatics, basketball, cycling, quad rugby, rock climbing, soccer, tennis, track and field and water skiing.

“Ability First Sports Camp makes a significant impact on the athletes,” said Laura McLachlin, co-director of Ability First and professor in the Recreation, Hospitality, and Parks Management Department. “They leave camp more confident, more aware of resources in their own communities and motivated to pursue a college degree. They are more likely to pursue sports upon returning home and feel more independent in their daily life skills.”

The program costs $900 and includes room and board, instruction and equipment. The program will also have on-site nurses around the clock to help with any medical issues.

Counselors include students from the kinesiology and recreation, hospitality and parks management departments as well as students from the Boys and Girls Clubs of the North Valley.

All coaches are current or former athletes with disabilities who specialize in a particular sport. Paraplegic big-wave surfer Christiaan Bailey, a professional surfer from Santa Cruz, has been coaching at Ability First for the past seven years.

"No matter where I am in the world, I always make the trip back every year to coach at Ability First Sports Camp,” he said in a testimonial on the Ability First website. “The Ability First staff are among the most experienced and fun-loving people I've ever had the pleasure of working with. The kiddos become part of our extended family and it's an honor to be able to play my small part in having such a positive and fundamental impact on their lives."

For more information on Ability First, please visit www.abilityfirstsports.org/.

###

Caption: Ability First camper Christian Humber is assisted by volunteer Delphine Winter during the 2014 camp. (photo by Jason Halley)