USA Para Powerlifting (USAPP) has found its home at Logan as it transitions to becoming an official Paralympic Sports Organization over the next year. With a belief that people with physical disabilities deserve high quality organized athletic opportunities, from youth sports to elite Paralympic competition, the Paralympic Operations Department (POD) at Logan aims to be leaders in the global adaptive sport movement. With the help of Move United, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals with physical disabilities learn about and participate in adaptive sports, the two are working to bring awareness and increase accessibility to the sport nationwide.
“The value that sports bring to us as individuals should be experienced by everyone,” said Shuan Butcher, Communications Manager for Move United. “Whether we’re able bodied or have a disability, we know that sports make us healthy, more determined and more disciplined. Our biggest focus at Move United is to change the way people view disability.”
The strategic goal for Move United is to offer an adaptive sports program within 90 miles of every resident in the country. This is important because throughout the U.S., there are “adaptive sports deserts,” where individuals have to drive hours away from their homes to participate in adaptive sports.
“Working with USAPP and volunteers, our goal is to increase the number of competitions that offer powerlifting,” said Jessie Cloy, Competition Manager at Move United. “I think that if we can get more events to offer powerlifting with the coaches and training necessary, then we can get our programs and our chapters to offer them at the local and regional levels.”
Mary Hodge, USAPP’s High-Performance Manager, works closely with Move United to make the sport more nationally known, grow regional programs and find athletes looking to compete, then give them the resources to do so.
“For me, it’s about getting people educated on the opportunity these young athletes have,” Mary said. “From USAPP and Logan’s perspective, we’re excited to move forward with Move United. It’s a great partnership for the sport and the kids and adults involved.”
The goal for both organizations is to make adaptive sports more widely accessible so that no matter where a child lives and regardless of their ability, they have an avenue to pursue sports and compete at any level—not only for inclusivity within sports but also for life beyond sports.
“An adaptive sports athlete myself, I eventually retired from sports, got married and had kids, and for me that’s a success story that’s bigger than the sport,” Jessie said. “The sports propel athletes to success beyond competing, so involvement in this community changes peoples’ lives.”
Read more about USAPP in the current issue of Move United magazine here.