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Junior Wheelchair Sports Camp
updated: Jul 19, 2014, 11:00 AM

By David Powdrell

I saw some magic this week

So here's the deal…..I've just spent the last week photographing some of the young athletes at the Junior Wheelchair Sports Camp at UCSB. 39 incredibly adventurous, wheelchair-bound kids ages 6-18 challenged themselves to ascend to the top of climbing walls, swim, kayak, play tennis, racquetball, rugby and basketball, try sled hockey, scuba dive, do a ropes course, ride hand cycles, play golf and more.

It's an incredibly inspirational and humbling week for many of the 80+ volunteers, mostly students, that block the time off their calendars year after year for this exciting annual event.

I wish I could bottle up and give away some of the powerfully positive energy and goodwill that exudes from these young athletes. It's priceless. There's no sense of entitlement here; just happy faces grateful for the opportunity to be with their peers and thankful for the chance to challenge themselves through sports. All 39 campers, volunteers, sponsors and staff are heroes.

Kudos to Rene Van Hoorn, Leslie Lannon, Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation, UCSB and the dozens of sponsors and support staff that help provide this experience, free of charge, to the campers. Lunches, transportation, a state-of-the-art venue, and professional nurses and therapists are provided.

If a curveball in life ever comes your way, I hope you'll opt to tackle the challenge like a wheelchair-bound kid at a summer camp.

If interested, more photos are available at davidpowdrell.com


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