“It's really fun,” says 13-year-old Grace Brous. “I get to meet more people like me.”
Grace’s smile lights up a room and when she's with her teammates, they all smile, too.
“It makes me feel really glad and happy,” she says.
Grace and others with mental and physical disabilities have a chance to be part of a team through A Sporting Chance, a not for profit organization that gives everyone a chance to be an athlete with no age limit.
“We really modify the rules to make everyone successful,” says Tad Zouch, with A Sporting Chance. “You can really see it in their eyes; that they light up. They get so excited when they are able to make a basket. They congratulate each other give each other high fives.”
A Sporting Chance is headquartered in Springfield and offers year round training, competition and recreational programs to participants. It also gives abused and disadvantaged children a shot at championing the day and the game.
There's a sense of community and social setting outside of the house that gives these athletes something to look forward to, some for decades.
Kenny Cox is a coach and his 33-year-old daughter, Carrie, is developmentally delayed. A Sporting Chance has been part of their lives for 20 years or so.
“She can't work a normal job and she has a hard time in social situations so coming in and being with other kids as we call them even though they are adults we still call them kids,” says Cox. “Other kids like her really give her an outlet and an ability to communicate and be with others we think it is just a really wonderful program.”
It's the people behind A Sporting Chance, the volunteers and the fundraisers, which make a difference in the community a difference in these lives.
A Sporting Chance also allows athletes from other states to participate.
Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.