It’s been a wild month since I last wrote a blog. I went from Spain, to Connecticut, to California, and almost everywhere in between. The month started with RMF’s 5th
annual EstuCamp in Madrid, Spain. As always, it was a pleasure for me to head across the pond and catch up with the athletes in the EstuAmeb junior program. Spain was home to me for eight years and I’m thrilled to be a part of the continued effort to provide more opportunities for adaptive athletes there. It was great to catch up with EstuCamp Alum, Pablo Lavanderia, who I met in the first ever camp we did in Madrid. Pablo will be heading to Hamburg, Germany at the beginning of August as part of the Spanish National team, who will be trying to capture a gold medal at the World Championship. But, hopefully, they’ll be taking another silver medal at the hands of the United States! I want to give a huge thanks to Hispassat who continues to unconditionally support the junior program as well as the camp every summer.
10th Anniversary of the Connecticut RMF Camp:
From Spain we went back home to Connecticut for our 10th
annual RMF camp. This year’s crop of athletes were the most talented by far and featured many athletes that play year-round with their respective junior programs. Athletes from the Northeast region of the U.S. descended upon Loomis Chaffee for five days of high-level instruction and competitive tournament play. This being the 10th
anniversary of our CT camp it’s great to see how the sport/opportunity for athletes in the region has grown. More athletes are given the opportunity to play year-round and the talent level in the region has grown immensely. Athletes from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, have shown how much the sport has grown in the region over the last 10 years. Thanks to Numotion and several other sponsors that have covered the cost of camp, keeping it free of charge for all athletes!
6th Annual RMF Hall of Fame Game Presented by Stanley Black & Decker:
Annual RMF HOF game didn’t disappoint. The two teams battled it out with the gold team, led by my New York Rolling Knicks teammate Omar Benetiz, pulling out a five point victory (53-48). Thanks to all the athletes who came to the Hall of Fame game; it was great to see the future stars of our sport get to showcase their respective skills. Junior players, Jeremy Tantsits, Martrell Stevens, Joe Rafter, Hennessy Hernandez and James Abele, all put on a show that displayed the talent in the northeast junior division. Thanks to the crowd that filled the Naismith Hall of Fame to support RMF and all of its athletes.
ESPY’s In Los Angeles, California:
Shortly after camp and the HOF game wrapped up we were back on a flight, this time heading west to Los Angeles, California for the 2018 ESPY Awards. This was the first time I’ve been able to attend the event and it didn’t disappoint. It was great to see how ESPN has included athletes with disabilities into the award show, helping to further publicize the Paralympic movement. This year’s winners were two accomplished athletes who competed in the 2018 Winter Paralympics. Best female athlete with a disability was Brenna Huckaby, a two time gold medalist in snowboarding from the 2018 games. The best male athlete with a disability was Mike Schultz who took home a silver medal in snowboarding in the 2018 winter games. It’s great to see an upward trend with ESPN including athletes with disabilities, along with increased coverage of the 2018 Paralympic games from NBC. Adaptive sports are continuing to become part of the mainstream fabric of the sports world. There is room to grow, but the awareness and access has never been this high!
Motivation’s Multisport Wheelchairs finally available in the US!
After a long wait, Motivation’s Multisport Wheelchairs are now available in the North American market on ShopNumotion.com
. This chair is designed to create a more cost efficient product for startup teams and athletes. Historically one of the biggest barriers to adaptive sports for many athletes or start up programs is the equipment cost. Motivation’s chairs have been used around the world in many developing countries to promote Adaptive sports. This chair will help many athletes get their start in almost any sport, creating access and involvement, making sure no one has to wait on the sidelines. To learn more about the Multisport Wheelchairs click here
RMF to assist CUNY with Wheelchair Basketball Clinic:
RMF will partner with the CUNY schools in NYC on August 11th
at Hostos Community College as they continue to provide adaptive sports opportunities for their students. This event at CUNY will be just the start of a larger vision for creating more opportunities for student athletes with disabilities at the CUNY schools. RMF is thrilled to partner with CUNY and provide access to these students.
Thanks to everyone who continues to read this blog and support all the work we are doing. Feel free to follow on IG/Twitter @ryanmartin06. Till next time!