BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) --- Bowling Green Parks and Recreation is now in its third year with an adaptive sports program.
"We're really in the business of helping people understand that all athletes with disabilities are elite," Special Populations Instructor Cameron Levis said. "You know, they have skills that many people never thought would be possible."
Adaptive sports, such as wheelchair basketball, provide opportunities for people with physical disabilities the chance to take part in athletics.
To help grow the program, Levis often visits local high schools to educate students on adaptive sports.
"The school visits this fall have been huge for us," Levis said. "Introducing people to adaptive sports and wheelchair basketball and making sure that they know these opportunities exist."
One athlete that has taken advantage of those opportunities is Madison Duncan.
Duncan got involved with adaptive sports after a Transverse Myelitis, neurological condition, paralyzed her from the waist down. Since then, Duncan broke the adaptive state shot put record twice back in high school. Now, Duncan accompanies Cameron to help educate the community.
The program has begun to gain some traction among youth.
"I love that so many kids are coming out," Duncan said. "They're seeing the sport and they're seeing what they can do. They're not going to be limited when they grow up. They can do whatever they want to do."
One of the kids that have taken part in the program is Fraser Robinson.
"We've gotten used to playing basketball and now he thinks it's not only fun but it's cool to be in a wheelchair," said Scott, Fraser's dad.
As the adaptive sports program continues to grow, Levis said he wants to give the athletes the opportunity to come to play competitively.
"At some point, everybody deserves to find that competitive edge," Levis said. "If they want to pursue the sport competitively, they deserve that right."
One misconception that adaptive sports, like wheelchair basketball, is the idea that you have to be in wheelchair 24/7 to be deemed eligible to play.
"It could be someone who has cerebral palsy that doesn't use a chair, somebody that's an amputee that doesn't use a chair every day that would eligible," Levis said.
At the end of the day, the main goal of the program will always be the same. Everybody has abilities that far outweigh whatever is holding them back.
Wheelchair basketball is open to the public at Kummer Little Recreation Center on Mondays and Thursdays from 4-5 p.m.
If you would like to find out more information regarding wheelchair basketball and other adaptive sports offered in Bowling Green you can contact Cameron Levis at Cameron.firstname.lastname@example.org.