May 22, 2023

Learning Adaptive Sports

In May, the Committee for Belonging & Bridging met at the Springdale Parks and Recreation Center in collaboration with Ozark Adaptive Sports Association (OZASA). We shared highlights and discussed learnings from recent conferences we attended by national thought leaders: Welcoming America’s Welcoming Interactive and UC Berkeley’s Othering & Belonging Institute’s Conference. In addition, our committee joined in a game of adaptive basketball and pickleball with the crew from OZASA!

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We explored how to integrate conference learnings into our ongoing initiatives at EngageNWA:

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Monica shared her experience attending the Welcoming Interactive conference and meeting American Indian artist and Dallas native Brian Larney. Larney combines art and activism to chronicle Indigenous history in North Texas.

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Margot shared about Scott Shiegoka, one of the speakers at the Othering & Belonging Conference. Scott discussed the importance of having a posture of curiosity, which allows us to be more open to each other’s stories and helps create a future with more belonging.

The highlight of our meeting was Sean from OZASA introducing us to adaptive sports. While playing wheelchair basketball and pickleball, we learned about some of the challenges and joys of these activities.

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Ozark Adaptive Sports Association (OZASA) is a nonprofit dedicated to cultivating an inclusive environment for individuals with disabilities, providing them opportunities to engage in sports and recreational activities. Each month, they host a variety of adaptive sports and provide equipment if needed. Their website provides a calendar of events and has great resources for people with physical disabilities who want to stay physically active. You can check them out here! Make sure to follow their journey and support their impactful work in Northwest Arkansas.

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Stay tuned for more updates on our efforts to promote belonging and bridge-building within our community through EngageNWA initiatives!