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20th annual wheelchair basketball game comes to Cuyamaca College Oct. 25

Posted on: Oct 19, 2017 1:00:00 AM

Contact: David Ogul david.ogul@gcccd.edu

            Cuyamaca College will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its Annual Wheelchair Basketball Game Oct. 25 with members of three local wheelchair basketball clubs teaming up with the men’s basketball team in honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

              Sponsored by the Cuyamaca College Athletics Department, Associated Student Government of Cuyamaca College and Disabled Students Programs & Services, the annual contest will include players from the So Cal Sol, the San Diego Hammer and the San Diego Xpress National Wheelchair Basketball Association teams, along with the athletes, faculty and staff at the Rancho San Diego campus. Teams will comprise both wheelchair users and able-bodied athletes to demonstrate the strength and agility of those in chairs, leaving participants and viewers with a greater sense of appreciation for athletes with disabilities.

              “It’s harder than it looks,” said Cuyamaca College President Julianna Barnes, who participated in the contest several years ago while serving as the college’s vice president of student services. “It gives you a totally different perspective.”

              This year’s event takes place from noon to 1 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 25, in the Cuyamaca College Gym (Building D) at 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway. Students, faculty, staff and spectators are encouraged to try their hand at playing and meet the athletes after the game. The free event is open to the public.

              The Annual Wheelchair Basketball Game was the brainchild of former DSPS Specialist-Counselor Kelli Turpin, who knew several athletes who played on wheelchair basketball teams. She suggested that DSPS invite the Cuyamaca College men’s basketball team to play in a game in which squads comprised both able-bodied and disabled athletes. Launched in October 1998, the game became an official Associated Student Government College Hour event in 2013. Several of the players have participated since the event’s founding.

              “The Annual Wheelchair Basketball game for the past two decades has been an exciting, fun and transformational experience for all, from those taking part on the court to those sitting in the stands,” said Mary Asher-Fitzpatrick, Cuyamaca College’s learning disabilities specialist. “This event has created a great, inclusive spirit here at Cuyamaca College, tearing down barriers and bringing everyone together in camaraderie.”

              Indeed, those involved in organizing the contest include Club ABLED, a campus organization that supports students with disabilities; the college’s Learning Resource Center; Associated Student Government; and DSPS. As part of this year’s celebration,

              An exhibit celebrating the history of the annual contest will be on display at the Cuyamaca College throughout the month.

 

 

 

 

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