Good Sports: CHCC Adaptive Sports

December 7, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
As tough as it may be, nine-year-old Logan Stewart of Fresno Doesn't let his cerebral palsy dampen his spirit, especially when Children's Hospital Central California adaptive sports program has an event like sled hockey scheduled.

"That guy's smiles get bigger at each event," said his grandfather, Don Britton of Fresno. "And when I show up to pick him up from school, he knows something is going on. So it's great for all of us."

On this chilly evening at Fresno's Fulton mall, the Brittons can thank Dr. Adam Gorra, an east coast native with skating in his blood.

"Being affiliated with the Children's Hospital and learning about the adaptive sports program I thought it was a great partnership," said Dr. Gorra. "I had to take advantage of the opportunity."

So Dr. Gorra did some research, bought the sled hockey equipment, recruited volunteers and rented the makeshift ice rink in downtown Fresno. Members of the Fresno Junior Hockey club's 16-and-under midget travel team even served as guest instructors.

"I want to form a team," said Dr. Gorra. "I want these kids to feel what it's like to be a member of a team again, or if they've never been a member of a team I want to feel what it's like to be a member of a team for the first time."

Judging by the smiles and laughter, the results were remarkable, easily helping Dr. Gorra achieve his other goals.

"You get a good cardiovascular workout and so it serves its purpose in terms of rehabbing these kids who really rely on their upper body strength to get around begin with," explained Dr. Gorra. "Now they're doing it and they're having a great time and they don't want to stop doing it."

It's not only in playing sports and staying active, that Grandpa Don hopes to see a difference in Logan.

"I'm hoping he'll join a team and learn to share that with his brothers, and be an older brother," said Britton. "Even with a disability, these things he's going to carry them on and teach his younger brothers how to be a little leader, and how to involve hims

And to do that, Dr. Gorra is doing his best to get the word out to the community, disabled or not.

"I think that's what it's all about, is to kind of break down the borders between ability and disability," said Dr. Gorra. "Really, everyone can play together. And I think that serves a great social purpose."

Sounds like the kind of team on which anyone would be lucky to play.


Load Comments