Center Helps Adaptive Athletes Stay Physically, Mentally Fit

Wednesday, August 5th 2020, 7:30 pm

The sounds of sports are back at the Santa Fe Family Life Center. That's music to kid's ears, as well as another group that calls the center home.

"It almost feels like somebody took my child if I don't get to compete," said Edmond resident and adaptive athlete Jason Vick.

Competition had been a constant for Jason before the pandemic. Tennis now, in college at UCO, it was wrestling. But 16 years ago, one night changed his life forever.

"I was actually shot in a car robbery and paralyzed."

Jason spent 6 weeks in the hospital and rehab, but that could only do so much.

"Doctors, medicine, was probably about 30%. Sports and being around other people in wheelchairs, was probably more about 70% of the total recovery.

16 years later, Jason it still at it, though this year has been tough for adaptive athletes like him who sometimes struggled to find a place to exercise even before the pandemic.

"Not all the gyms have adaptive equipment, not all gyms, some of them aren't handicap accessible," Vick said.

Santa Fe Family Life Center is the only nonprofit facility in central and western Oklahoma that offers year-round sports opportunities for adaptive athletes.

The center is offering virtual and small group classes during the pandemic.

"In adaptive sports, it's an outlet to be able to go and play, have something to do that keeps them active but it’s also fun and kind of therapeutic in somewhat of a challenging time," said James Timberlake, Santa Fe Family Life Center Executive Director.

The center had to scrap plans for their annual in-person fundraiser, but they are currently running a virtual campaign, with all donations being matched dollar for dollar.

You can help by donating on their website.