April 17, 2012

For Sportable, this idea of PASSION translates into the ability of  each member of our TEAM showing up ready to play every day with an enthusiasm towards our mission. Now, being a small staffed organization you can see why this is so important…there is lots to do and not enough hours in the day to do it all! So, we prioritize, work together, re-energize periodically, and keep pressing on BECAUSE we know how our ability  to create opportunities can and will transform lives of those we serve.  It is essential to our success that each TEAM member shares this passion–whether a partner organization, athlete, volunteer, or donor–you must have your game face on and be willing to help ( whatever is needed at that point in time) in pushing forward our mission and empower individuals with physical disabilities to lead healthy, active lifestyles.

One of the great things about what we do is that for folks with a sports background, there is an instant connection with the thought of what it means to be an athlete –a natural PASSION for a particular sport ( tennis, basketball, lacrosse)–whether you participate with use of a wheelchair, or prosthetic leg, or guided runner–someone with a passion for sports knows that the athletic mind is innate and adapting or modifying a sport does not change the its true essence…it simply allows for that freedom and independence to be felt on the field of play for athletes of varying abilities.  This being said, it is easy for us to capture volunteers and potential donors by simply inviting them to come out to a program or event…meet our athletes, hear their stories, and see their passion illuminate as they swing the racquet or cross the finish line. How can you not want to become involved?

Tonight on the tennis courts we had a very diverse group of athletes  who were being lead by an amazing team of staff and volunteer coaches.  When I walked up on the courts I instantly had the sense that everyone was happy…enjoying themselves.  You could sense the passion of the coaches and volunteers instructing… wanting everyone to get the most out of the limited time they had on the courts.  You could also sense the passion of our athletes to learn, be active,  to gain that competitive edge for an upcoming tournament, and some just a passion to be around people and to simply socialize.  WOW… two tennis courts overflowing at Byrd Park with such great energy tonight, a true testament to why we do what we do and why it is so important to have the right team in place to continue to raise the awareness about the limitless potential that our athletes have to achieve great things both on and off the court!

I am very proud to be a part of this team/organization and feel so thankful to our athletes, volunteers, coaches, staff, board of directors, partners, and donors who  share with me a passion to ensure that for many years to come the Richmond community can boast a program focused on raising awareness, educating, and offering support for people with physical disabilities to be able to participate in sport and healthy lifestyle programs.