SportsAbility in Ocala 2011

Me Water Skiing

Before I talk about my experience and all, you are probably wondering what SportsAbility is. It is the premier event of the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association (FDOA). This event is about enhancing the lives of people with disabilities by promoting active living.

SportsAbility provides first hand access to resources and demonstrations of activities

Horseback Riding

designed to encourage participation regardless of age or ability level. People who attend SportsAbility learn about the value of recreation and active leisure for everyone – especially people with disabilities.

People discover the latest in equipment, trends, and resources. This event provides an opportunity for people to network with people with disabilities, resource providers, and community organizations. There is NO CHARGE to participants.

Here we go; I arrived on the first day at the Ed Crowsky Center and signed in as a participant and a volunteer. I got a few pictures taken and then went inside to look at all the wonderful vendors. I went to the Marion County Disability Alliance table to work it until 11 am. I decided to go outside at 11 and see what all was going on. I head down to the horses and on the way I passed tennis, golf, bocce, disc golf and much more. I arrived at the horses and signed the release form so I could ride a horse. While waiting to ride, I met my friend Melissa who also rode the horse. We chatted until it was time.

The volunteers rolled me up the ramp so they could help me on the horse. I haven’t ridden a horse in a couple years so I had to hold on for dear life! I had a blast and it shows that anyone can ride a horse.

I went back inside to get ready to demo scuba diving at 1 pm. The person helping me put on my scuba suit had to do it twice, because the silly man put it on backwards the first time. I headed out to the pool where I demoed the scuba diving. I had a blast and while waiting for them to do the other people. I floated around and swam in my scuba suit. Everyone can go scuba diving. If anyone tells you know you can’t do scuba diving or anything else, they are so wrong.

That was the end of the first day so I went home and rested. I got up on the second day, ready for more fun and living.

The second day of SportsAbility was at Carney Island County Park. I took a hay ride that transported people to the other side of the park. Over there I went water skiing and then watched people shoot bow and arrows, go canoeing, kayaking, and more.

Afterwards, I went back have lunch and talk to some friends, new ones and old ones. This was a great event and I want you to remember that if someone says you can’t do something, they are dead wrong. You can show them this video of people with disabilities doing and having fun.  Video

SPORTSABILITY is much more than fun. It is a wonderful occasion to help educate the public about the importance of physical activity and about recreational opportunities while also providing valuable information of other important community resources available to people, including those with disabilities.

Remember to live your life to the fullest and squeak out all of the negatives that say you can not do!

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