Western Kentucky University is partnering with a city department to offer the college’s first sports program for students of all abilities this fall.
There are fewer than 30 collegiate adaptive sports programs in the country, and the Bowling Green Parks & Recreation Department and WKU Campus Recreation and Wellness will add to the list beginning Oct. 24, according to the Raleigh News & Observer.
Events through the new sports club will take place at the Preston Center and the WKU Intramural Complex. While the number of sports to be offered is not final yet, basketball, baseball and tennis are expected to be in the mix. The new sports club currently has several wheelchairs built for basketball and equipment for goal ball and baseball.
City parks department special populations instructor Cameron Levis has helped lead the city parks department’s adaptive sports program. She said WKU’s club will be an extension of that work. Levis said the new program will be the first of its kind in Kentucky.
The program is expected to be an important tool for recruiting students of all abilities to WKU.
On Oct. 24, organizers will showcase the sports being offered to students this semester. The event will be at the Preston Center.
Matt Davis, assistant director of the Student Accessibility Resource Center, grew up in Bowling Green with a condition called spina bifida, which causes him to regularly use a wheelchair.
He used to go as far as Nashville to get involved with adaptive sports, but the new sports club and parks department programs will mean localized accessible activities.
"It’s really exciting to see these programs come together," Davis told the News & Observer. "If you are physically active, it helps you mentally as well. That’s big for those that are disabled. We just want students to get involved in these programs. You don’t have to have a disability to get involved."