RICHMOND, VA – (Thursday, January 7, 2021) – Sportable, Central Virginia’s premier adaptive sports club, proudly raised $27,608 from 117 donors to exceed the year-end matching challenge of $20,000 initiated by Roll With Cole, NFP. Funds from Roll with Cole, NFP will be used to establish the RWC Adaptive Athlete Support Fund, designed to support Sportable’s mission to make sports accessible and inclusive for individuals with physical disabilities and visual impairments.
“The Sydnors, through Roll with Cole, NFP, have given us the best gift we could have ever imagined to end this challenging year,” stated Executive Director Hunter Leemon. “It is incredibly inspiring to see the outpouring of support from the Richmond community and beyond. Because of Cole’s social media reach, we had gifts from as far away as the UK. It was the local community, however, that truly rallied in the final days of December to come through and not only hit the goal but to exceed it by a significant margin. This funding will provide our athletes with the support they need—regardless of financial means—to participate in adaptive sports.”
The year-end challenge was initiated by Roll With Cole, NFP, a local non-profit organization launched by Kelly Sydnor and Sportable athlete Cole Sydnor, who committed a dollar-for-dollar match up to $20,000.
“Cole and I formed Roll with Cole, NFP as a way to pay forward all the support our family received after Cole’s diving accident in 2011 that left him a quadriplegic,” said Kelly Sydnor. “There were some dark days early on, but there have been many miracles since then and we want to share that hope with others who have similar stories.”
“With Sportable, we are extremely fortunate to have an organization that provides opportunities for people like me who want to get out and compete despite our disability,” added Cole Sydnor. “We are still able to be competitive if you just give us the opportunity. That’s why my family wants to give adaptive athletes access to the opportunities that Sportable provides.”
Sportable Executive Director Hunter Leemon first met Cole in 2015 after Sydnor was recruited to coach Sportable’s youth wheelchair basketball team, the Sportable Spokes. Sydnor coached the team for four seasons, and led the Spokes to the NIT Championship in 2017.
Founded in 2016, Roll with Cole, NFP’s mission is to foster active, healthy, and mobile lifestyles through sporting and educational events, while increasing awareness and access to an array of recreational opportunities for the physically challenged within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Since then, Sydnor and his wife, Charisma, have established a popular YouTube Channel, “Roll with Cole & Charisma” with more than 530,000 subscribers to provide educational content about accessibility and answer questions about their lives as an interabled couple. Having become social media celebrities, Cole’s and Charisma’s recent wedding was featured in The New York Times. The Sydnors also have a freelance production company where they produce content for local businesses.
This year, Sportable celebrates 15 years of creating opportunities and transforming lives through sport for individuals with physical disabilities and visual impairments. The non-profit organization provides sporting opportunities to more than 400 athletes of all ages by offering competitive and recreational adaptive sports programs year-round. Sportable’s revenues are 97 percent philanthropic, funded almost entirely through donations and grants. Year-end gifts of any amount will provide critical support and will make an immediate impact on the lives of hundreds of local residents. To make a gift, visit Sportable.com/donate.
About Roll with Cole, NFP
Roll with Cole, NFP, a non-profit organization in Richmond, Virginia, was launched by Kelly and Cole Sydnor in 2016. Its’ mission is to foster active, healthy, and mobile lifestyles through sporting and educational events, while increasing awareness and access to an array of recreational opportunities for the physically challenged within the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Sydnors founded the non-profit after Cole became paralyzed in an accident on the James River as a high-school student in 2011. He has become a champion of adaptive sports and advocates for individuals with spinal cord injuries and other mobility impairments. Roll with Cole, NFP partners with and supports organizations in the Richmond community that provide injury prevention education, adaptive sports and recreation, and promote health and wellness. More can be found on the organization’s website here: www.rollwithcole.org