By Mike Sessions |Staff Writer|
Every year CSUSB hosts the DisAbility Sports Festival to help raise awareness of numerous physical activities for those that are disabled.
This year proved to be another successful event, bringing in hundreds of attendees to participate and join in on one of the more underrated sporting events in the world.
It all started with a dream from Director Aaron Moffett, who envisioned creating such an event that would bring those with all sorts of disabilities together everywhere.
“I used to coach a kid that had a disability,” said Moffett. “He didn’t seem to fit in anywhere other than in sport […] and he seemed normal. That’s one reason we decided to go ahead and create the DisAbility Sports Festival.”
The festival features various sports, from basketball to soccer, rugby, baseball, etc. The event allowed some of the volunteers to participate in the games, allowing them to view activities from a different perspective.
Valerie Barragan, vice president of Lambda Theta Alpha Sorority, Inc., was one of the many volunteers who helped make the event such a success.
“Every year I look forward to the DisAbility Sports Festival because it’s great for my sisters. We come together and put a smile on our community.”
A very important reason of what brings so many people every year is that the festival does not discriminate anyone and completely open to everyone regardless of a disability.
“It’s a lot of work, it takes us all year to create this event and we want to make sure that it is completely open to all people with any disability,” said Moffett.
Stretching from the Rec Center and the Coussoulis Arena towards the soccer field, this event proved to be one of the bigger programs featured on campus. There are plans to stretch it even further in the future.
Moffett reflects, “This past summer we did one in New Jersey, and we’re also scheduled for the second annual out in Coachella Valley.”
A great number of companies came to help sponsor the event and show their support, such as The Amputee Connection of Redlands & Corona/Riverside, Molina Healthcare, the Inland Empire Health Plan and others. Molina Healthcare even brought out their huge cat mascot, Dr. Cleo, to interact with the kids and take pictures.
“A lot of the different sponsors, they do a great job of just supporting the idea and saying this is a fantastic idea, how can we help you, and that’s really what it’s all about and why we’ve been so successful, because of the sponsors,” said Moffett.
The DisAbility Sports Festival was a great experience for those that came to CSUSB and supported, or even those that didn’t know what it was about beforehand.
With all of the plans of expanding the festival across the nation, or even internationally, there are more lives to change in the coming years.
And it all starts right now.