Friday, April 12, 2024

ABLE Youth provides opportunity for disabled children through sports

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Featured photo by Nic Gomez

Story by Nic Gomez

Middle Tennessee State University hosted the Music City Madness Wheelchair Basketball Tournament on Feb. 17-18 at the campus Health Wellness and Recreation Center.

ABLE Youth, an organization located in Nashville, Tenn. sponsored the event for children ages 3-12 and ages 13-22. Their goal is to show children of all ages how their disability does not define who they are. They aim to teach children that they can be independent like everyone else and can succeed in life through sports.

“We are a nonprofit for kids with physical disabilities,” said Alex Hurd, a full-time ABLE Youth volunteer. “Just helping them explore the world of sports and how that can help enrich their lives.”

With the help of ABLE Youth and MTSU, the Music City Thunder were able to have their tournament this year. The tournament brings in teams from around the nation, providing the children with new challenges and competition while doing what they love.

“I just love competing,” said William Bell, former Music City Thunder player. “I want to compete and be great like those athletes.”

With competitions like this being held by this organization for the children to do what they love; it gives parents hope of their children being successful in the future. Parents show gratitude towards ABLE Youth for giving kids opportunities to grow and towards MTSU for being hosts of the tournament.

“There’s really no words to express how it makes you feel as a father,” said Patrick Hemmit, father of one of the Music City Thunder athletes. Being a father of a child with a disability there are so many limitations, so many things you can’t do. To know that there are individuals who are willing to sacrifice their time, their resources and this beautiful campus facility and allow us to do this. Words can’t explain just how happy and thankful we feel.”

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