Paul’s Pals-Funded Chairs Featured in Courage Kenny’s Onward Newsletter
May 7, 2019
Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute’s adaptive sports & recreation programs allow children and adults with disabilities to be physically active in their everyday lives. Paul’s Pals has been lucky enough to fund two grants over the past few years to help provide adaptive wheelchairs for their programs to ensure that children could overcome barriers to participate in their favorite sports.
Read the article below, originally published in the Spring 2019 Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Center Onward Newsletter, to hear about how one of the sport chairs Paul’s Pals helped provide has provided Mackenzie Groth the opportunity to pursue her passion.
Mackenzie Groth: All About Basketball
Fifth-grader, Mackenzie Groth, has found her passion. Most days, her conversations and free time revolve around basketball. She looks forward to three-hour Rolling Rowdies practice every week and said she wishes she had even more practice time. She has written school essays about basketball,
and even improved her reading proficiency when she started reading books on the sport. For the first time, her mom said, she’s setting lofty and inspiring goals for her future.
Groth has spina bifida. Her parents, Jamie and Aaron, have been intentional about keeping her active and encouraging her to try new things. She first came to Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute – Golden Valley for swim lessons, then heard about wheelchair basketball. She is also involved in skiing, softball and tennis and participates in wheelchair dance outside of Courage Kenny. Groth’s parents were committed to putting her in a variety of activities so that she would have similar experiences to her peers.
“We are so fortunate to live here,” said Jamie Groth, noting the number of opportunities Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute makes available to her daughter.
Now in her fourth year playing basketball, Groth plays on the Rolling Rowdies team, for players who are 8 to 13 years old, and travels for tournaments. Traveling and meeting other team members is her favorite part of the sport, she said. The team, Rolling Rowdies, competes regularly and is currently ranked number one in the nation.
As Groth’s interest in basketball has grown, so has her ambition. Last year, she told her parents that she wanted to be a starter on the team. This year, she was a starter.
Already, she has her sights set on attending the University of Alabama to play wheelchair basketball and dreams of making the Paralympic basketball team one day.
Groth has truly blossomed through basketball. Her parents have witnessed a boost in her confidence and leadership skills in all areas of her life, which they attribute to her participation in wheelchair basketball. They are thrilled with how she has embraced adaptive sports.
Jamie Groth said, “I never thought my child with a physical disability would say that gym is her favorite class or that a sport like basketball would be where she found her confidence and passion.”
This article originally appeared in Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute’s Spring 2019 Onward Newsletter. To see the original article, click here. To learn more about the adaptive sports programs offered by Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, visit allinahealth.org/couragekenny or email CKRISportsRecreation@allina.com.