OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Sports are all about bringing people together to compete and have fun.
For some kids, opportunities are limited. However, one area camp erases those limitations.
The annual Junior Wheelchair Sports and Recreation Camp is in full swing.
“This is something that the kids look forward to all year,” Camp Director Jena Munson said.
It’s a week-long camp made possible by CHI Health, Nebraska Adaptive Sports and the City of Omaha. The camp being held at Mockingbird Hills Community Center has been going on for more than three decades.
Exposing kids with physical disabilities to sports.
“There are so many fun things that we do, and it has led me to play sports that I have discovered through here,” 13-year-old participant Quinn Hoover said.
It’s the only day camp in the area specifically focused on youth ages 5-18 with a physical disability.
It even brings kids from all around the country.
“It’s pretty neat when families bring their kids back all the way from Florida, or Missouri, or Pennsylvania,” Munson said.
Munson has been in charge for 18 years now. She is the Head of the Recreation Therapy program at CHI Health Immanuel Rehabilitation Institute.
She was born without a right hand. Munson says the confidence that kids leave with, and the desire to continue to get involved and participate is what makes it so special.
“That’s kind of the goal—how can they continue on participating with whatever the sport is that they find they really like after the camp,” Munson said. “We’ve had lots of kids who have continued on with different programs.”
“I’ve had a huge blast playing wheelchair basketball and I’ve learned a lot,” Hoover said. “I’ll probably play until—probably the rest of my life.”
From football and basketball to tennis and lacrosse, and everything in between.
However, it’s more than just the sports. It’s the relationships that the kids build with other kids just like them.
“There’s that instant bond,” Hoover said.
It’s the perfect combination for Hoover, who has been attending for 7 years, to let loose. Something all kids should get to do.
“It combines two things that some of these kids might not have, and sometimes I don’t have – social interaction and playing sports,” Hoover said. “I keep coming back because I absolutely love it.”
Munson says she has had area teachers come up to her after the students had gone back to school and the teachers say the kids’ attitude and confidence after the camp have completely changed.
If you want to learn more about the camp or sign your child up next year, email firstname.lastname@example.org.