Paralympic Sport Club Spotlight: Paralympic Sports Club of Omaha
For more than 25 years, the Paralympic Sports Club of Omaha has strived to make sports and recreation available for people with disabilities. The club is made up of three local organizations, including Alegent Creighton Health Immanuel Rehab Center, Eastern Nebraska Wheelchair Athletic Association (ENWAA) and the Great Plains Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA).
These organizations work together to make adaptive sports a reality for many people who may not have thought it was possible.
“The programs that are offered in the metro Omaha area have opened the doors for many disabled people who were not active or didn’t believe that they could be involved with sport and recreation,” said Jena Munson, who is a recreation therapist at Alegent Creighton Health Immanuel Rehab Center and ENWAA board member. “For those who were involved with sports prior to their disability, the Club has allowed them to continue to be involved with what they are passionate about and allow them being active again.”
With three organizations making up PSC Omaha, disabled individuals have many sports and recreation opportunities to take advantage of. Some programs and events are run by the individual organizations, while other events are supported by all three.
In 2010, the Alegent Creighton Health Immanuel Rehab Center, ENWAA and the Great Plains PVA made the collective decision to become a Paralympic Sport Club together. Since then, PSC Omaha has continuously offered programs for children, teens and adults in the metro Omaha area and is even open to people outside of Nebraska and Iowa. Currently, the club has participants from five other states.
“The overall awareness of this program has really increased within the past few years,” said Munson. “More individuals within the community are aware of adaptive sports, and we’ve received more calls this year from people inquiring about opportunities.”
PSC Omaha has opportunities including basketball, rugby, softball, sitting volleyball, boccia, golf, fishing, waterskiing, handcycling, bowling and woodcarving. The club also provides the metro Omaha area with camps for children and one-day events.
“The one-day events encourage these athletes and the community to become involved,” said Munson. “As a club we are always open to new ideas, so we encourage participants to provide feedback regarding new programs that they would like to see in the future.”
With good support from participants and the community, PSC Omaha will surely continue to provide successful programs.
While there is an employed staff, PSC Omaha is also powered by volunteers. Munson explained that volunteers are needed to help work the sport and recreational events in order for participants to get a great experience. At some events, such as the Club’s Back 2 Swing Annual Golf Tournament, volunteers offer assistance to athletes during games, if needed.
PSC Omaha also offers some opportunities for able-bodied individuals to join in the fun. At the Club’s sitting volleyball tournament in March, a sizable amount of able-bodied participants had a chance to take part. The able-bodied participants experienced a different way of playing volleyball while helping make the tournament fun and competitive for the other participants.
“Overall, the Club has opened the doors for a large number of individuals, and we plan to continue to provide opportunities in the future and take programs to the next level,” said Munson.
People with disabilities can contact any of the PSC Omaha organizations to get more information about the programs and sports that are offered.
“We look forward to continuing to unlock the doors for many more disabled athletes in the future.”