Adaptive Track and Field Athlete in the High Schools

October 5, 2013

“So You Want to be a High School Track and Field Athlete”

Click HERE to read the Fall 2013 Challenge Magazine article about adaptive track and field in high schools. Coauthored by Phil Galli, Pam Carey, Cathy Sellers, and Teresa Skinner.

Life, Goals and Rights.

I am Phil Galli, father of four‐time Track and Field Paralympian Jessica (Galli) Cloy. When Jessica was entering high school in 1998, she wanted to compete in sports. In Jessica’s case, she wanted to be part of the high school’s track, swimming, and cross country teams. At the time, what was troubling to me was that it seemed like every time a wheelchair athlete started this process of integration it seemed like he was the first person to ever go through this experience. Because of my experience with Jessica, I knew I wanted to be a part of the solution rather than perpetuate the problem.

In 2004 I brought together Pam Carey, who worked high school sport inclusion in Louisiana, and Teresa Skinner, who did the same in the state of Washington, to form the High School Committee within Wheelchair Track and Field USA. Since its inception, our committee has sought to compile information needed by parents and states so that each new journey of inclusion can learn from the past. Joining the effort 4 years ago, Cathy Sellers of US Paralympics has brought her strengths in coaching and coaching education to the mix. She has helped identify and create training courses that are now available to guide coaches through the process of coaching an athlete with a disability.

This article seeks to cover the history of wheelchair high school track and field in the US and the paths that individuals have taken to compete in high school sports. We will share the tools and knowledge we have learned, the pieces that are in place today, and the changes we hope to see in the future. Although this article centers on wheelchair track and field we realize that there is also a need for an ambulatory para‐athletics component in high school athletics. We will touch on the emerging work being done in this area to make this…READ MORE  HERE

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