News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Oregon Adaptive Sports has new board members

Twenty-four years and counting. That’s how long Oregon Adaptive Sports (OAS) has been providing snow opportunities for the people in our community with disabilities. From children to older adults, OAS volunteers and instructors help athletes with disabilities enjoy the freedom of outdoor winter sports, featuring alpine skiing and snowboarding at Hoodoo and Mt. Bachelor, as well as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at Mt. Bachelor Nordic Center and Virginia Meissner Sno-Park.

Oregon Adaptive Sports will soon be transitioning into the summer sports program with expanded options for cycling, golf, hiking, mountain biking, paddling, and rock climbing. All of these selections open a doorway for people with disabilities to participate in and enjoy the Central Oregon outdoors. Volunteers and instructors will be there to assist and provide instructions for the athlete.

Oregon Adaptive Sports has welcomed three new members to the board of directors to help guide this expanding nonprofit into its next chapter.

Scott Taylor has experienced disabilities himself after a surgery resulted in some paralysis to one hemisphere of his body and a sensory deficit to the other. He spent time in a wheelchair until, through years of rehab, he was able to regain his ability to walk and relearned how to ski, swim, kayak, and ride a tricycle. He found OAS to be invaluable for his continued development in athletic endeavors.

“I’ve long been taught that one should give back, and this is an organization I am passionate about, so I’d like to contribute my expertise and energy to OAS,” Taylor said.

Traci Clautice-Engle is a radiologist who has extensive experience in the medical field. She also has a personal relationship with the difficulties that people with disabilities have in experiencing the outdoors.

“I have a nephew with Down’s (Syndrome) and, therefore, first-hand knowledge of the critical importance of sports, activities, and community support in a person’s life, and their family with limited abilities,” she said.

Bunny Thompson has lived in Sisters for 21 years and has been a volunteer with OAS almost that long. Her passion and respect for the organization runs deep.

“OAS is breaking cultural judgements and showing the community that people with disabilities can get out there. They can have fun, laugh, smile, and teach all of us about living life to the fullest,” Thompson said.

 

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