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AMS Vans Spotlights Atlanta Wolfpack

  • Date: 2009/07/02 (Rev: 2013/06/14) AMS Vans
  • Synopsis : AMS Vans has chosen to highlight the Atlanta Wolfpack top competitors in wheelchair events in the South East.

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In an effort to further the message of everyone deserves to lead a full and independent life, AMS Vans has chosen to highlight the Atlanta Wolfpack, top competitors in wheelchair events in the South East.

Athletes for the Atlanta Wolfpack are like any other athlete. They train. They study the competition. They prepare through hard work and determination. One thing does set them apart though. They don't walk onto the court, they roll. The Atlanta Wolfpack consists of athletes who bring their A game to the court/field and to the classroom.

"This program is life changing," says Onie Lawson, program coordinator and one time coach. "We know what sports can do for a person anyway, but for people with disabilities it can truly be life changing. Students get joy out of it as do their parents and all of us watching. It's always great to see a student excel at something they love to do."

The Wolfpack is a member of the American Association of Adapted Sports Program (AAASP) which partners with the Georgia Department of Education. Georgia serves as a model state for the AAASP because of their efforts to provide adapted interscholastic sports opportunities.

Wolfpack offers handball (soccer), football, basketball, and power wheelchair soccer. Unfortunately, economic changes have forced cutbacks with 14 athletes being sidelined because the Wolfpack is no longer able to offer a junior varsity team. That cut forces at least 14 athletes to be sidelined. Lawson says she hopes the program will once again offer both teams sooner rather than later.

Lawson says the team has additional support from the Fernando Foundation (www.fernandofoundation.org). The private foundation funds projects that provide people with disabilities sporting programs including power soccer. For 12 years, the Atlanta Wolfpack has been doing just that. Lawson has been with the program for 10 years and says she can see the difference it makes first hand.

People can often times see limitations when they look at a wheelchair, but for Lawson's athletes all they see are possibilities.

"My time here has been a joy because I can see firsthand the changes in our students' lives," Lawson said. "I've seen students come out of their shells thanks to this program. One young lady would hold her head down and never say a word. Then she got on the court and has become a leader both in the classroom and out. It's those kinds of stories of our students going on to achieve great things such as a college education that demonstrates this programs worth."

AMS Vans, Inc. (www.amsvans.com) is a manufacturer and wholesaler of wheelchair accessible vehicles. They provide news and information about living with a disability from topics ranging from health and fitness to travel and financial assistance.

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