San Antonio is home to many amazing things, and we’re happy to say that Wheel:Life has found another to add to that list.
STRAPS (South Texas Regional Adaptive and Paralympics Sports) is an athletic sports program that offers recreational as well as competitive sporting opportunities to all with physical disabilities.
STRAPS hosts their events at Morgan’s Wonderland, an amusement part in San Antonio specifically designed for children who have disabilities.
STRAPS was created after a void in sports programs was noticed throughout the disabled community and now everyone is wondering how they could live without it!
Wendy Gumbert is the Director of STRAPS and explains how this program truly does fill a need within the San Antonio area. “What happens in San Antonio is that we have programs that are too focused. We have a lot of adapted sports offered for the military and our wounded service members, so there’s a lot of opportunity for them. But then the community guy with the physical disability is left out. And then we have programs for kids, but it’s only for youth so the adults are left out. This program is really meant for everybody — the wounded service members, the kids, the adults, the community, everybody,” Gumbert explains.
STRAPS launched in the fall of 2012. Currently STRAPS offers the following soccer programs:
- Paralympic/ambulatory soccer– For athletes with mobility impairments such as amputations, cerebral palsy, stroke, and traumatic brain injuries.
- Wheelchair soccer– For those with physical disabilities such as spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, amputations or anyone who uses a manual wheelchair.
- Power soccer– for those with physical disabilities who use powerchairs.
- Special Olympics soccer ( Part of the Monarch School Academy Curriculum)- For special needs athletes of all ages with cognitive uses such as down syndrome, autism, etc.
Additionally, STRAPS is currently rolling out some exciting new initiatives such as Goal Ball.
What is Goal Ball?
Goal ball is a 3-on-3 team game, played inside in a gym floor, and is primarily designed for blind or visually impaired athletes. How is it played? The two teams will play head to head against each other, with one on each end of the 60×40 foot court. All players are blindfolded to make the game fair. This is due to varying levels of sight among players. Some are legally blind, some are totally blind. The blindfolds ensure equality among players. The object is to roll a three-pound Goalball, which is like a heavy basketball, past the opposing team without them stopping it. It’s the job of the opposing team to block that ball at all costs.
We are thrilled to report that STRAPS is making some strong waves within the San Antonio sporting community. Thanks to sponsors such as Boeing and the San Antonio Scorpions (a professional men’s soccer team), all of the activities and programs are offered at no cost to qualified athletes!
We encourage all of our friends to check out STRAPS and all that they have going on. STRAPS is located at Morgans Wonderland, 5223 David Edwards Drive, San Antonio Texas, 78233. If you have questions or would like to inquire further about the program, please contact Wendy Gumbert at wendy@STRAPSsoccer.com, or visit their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/STRAPSTexas