NAC to host Paralympic demo day
The National Ability Center is taking its show on the road this Saturday. Well, at least some of it.
As part of a national promotion by the U.S. Paralympics Committee, the National Ability Center (NAC) is sponsoring its first ever U.S Paralympic Day, which will feature free sled hockey and handcycling demonstrations at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns.
NAC event organizer Lauren Artesani says that people with disabilities are usually aware of disabled sports, but may not know how to get involved. The NAC Academy Day allows children to watch and try the sports and find out how they can become part of the center’s unique programs.
"I’m excited. I think it’s a nice opportunity to offer this to people free of cost," Artesani said. "I don’t think people know the options they have."
Artesani said the Oval was chosen, in part, to expose non-Parkites to the NAC and its programs.
"That’s very important," Artesani said. "There are many people that aren’t aware of the NAC’s offerings and the population they serve."
She also wanted to be at a rink that was an actual 2002 Paralympic Winter Games venue.
Members of the Junior U.S. National Sled Hockey team and the NAC Sled Hockey team will be on hand to run the demonstration and explain to children how the sport works. Other NAC members will staff similar demonstrations for handcycling.
U.S. Paralympic gold medallist Dave Conklin will present a motivational speech, geared at helping youth and parents understand how they can get involved in Paralympic sports, and the challenges and rewards involved with pursuing that dream.
There will also be coaches on hand to educate both children and parents about the time and cost demands involved with Paralympic sports.
"Our goal is to get as many families out to learn what their options are as we can," Artesani said "The NAC is providing that opportunity and opening that door."
The event will be held Saturday, Oct. 21 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and is open to any disabled teenager and their family. The event is free, including demonstrations, speeches, raffles and lunch. The Utah Olympic Oval is located at 5662 South Cougar Lane (4800 West) in Kearns. Artesani may be contacted directly about the event at firstname.lastname@example.org or 649-3991 ext. 607.
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