Fifteen years ago I was looking for a social outlet for my high school teenager. We were involved in Boy Scouts, had the pool in the backyard and the Nintendo on the big screen TV, yet where were all the 'friends' from school. Looking for an inclusive activity brought us to adaptive sports. Here I watched my son became more independent, as did I. He developed confidence in his new found skills and friends that made for many memorable moments going through high school.
That was 20 youth and parents ago, where all participated in the same sports and attended the annual competition in the summer. Today, we offer multiple team sports for recreation and competition to over 100 youth and adults. Many of which, go onto college with sports and academic scholarships and some becoming elite athletes to US National and Paralympic teams.
Being a volunteer for this organization has been a blessing and the stories of success spear us on to continue opening doors of opportunity for awareness of ‘ability’ for those with physical disabilities.
Thanks for the support that’s made it all possible!
A passionate group of individuals who have experience advocating for people with disabilities, who are athletes with our sports programs, parents of our athletes, Paralympic athletes, and sponsors interested in the success of our program:
1970 - 1990 – In the beginning we are known as the Spina Bifida Association of Puget Sound, a support organization for families whose children are born with Spina Bifida.
1991 – Local wounded warrior and advocate for disabled sports, Jim Martinson found these youth and introduced them to the sport of track racing and field. Shortly following, a swim program started for competitive swimming. The Team Shadow and Shadow Seals youth teams went on to compete for many awards at the Jr National Championships and represent their high school sports teams at the WIAA State Championships.
1999 – The Seattle Wheelchair Jr Sonics basketball team begins and is featured on the Team Cheerios cereal box.
2003 – To better serve the purpose of the organization, the name is changed to Northwest Wheelchair Sports.
2005 – To better serve the community of disabilities among our athletes, the organization name is changed to Northwest Adaptive Sports. The Seattle Jr Sonics attend their first National competition at the NWBA National Championships.
2007 - Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) is the first state to accept high school wheelchair athletes to team scoring in track and field. Hosted the NWBA Prep National Championships (7–12 yrs) to nine teams from around the country.
2008 – The addition of adult sports is added and the organizations name is changed to Seattle Adaptive Sports. Hosted the NWBA Varsity National Championships to the top 16 junior teams in the country.
2009 – The CREW Youth Social Mentoring program is started to provide an outlet for normal socialization.
2011 – The Seattle Storm women’s basketball team is formed and joins the NWBA Women’s Division.
2012 – The Seattle Thunderbird Community Sled Hockey team is kicked off by a USA Hockey clinic attended by over 30 athletes and guest US Paralympic team members.
2013 – The Seattle Power Soccer team is formed to meet the needs of youth and adults seeking to be active.
2014 - The 1st Annual Paralympic Sports Day held the 3rd Saturday in June offers over 100 individuals with physical disabilities, local rehab therapist, families and community support organizations the exposure to a hands-on experience in 8 sports offered in the Puget Sounds area.
2015 - Our basketball program sponsors 4 teams (Championship, D3, Women, Junior Divisions) to the NWBA National Championships, all qualifying from competition during the 2014-2015 season.
2016 - The Seattle Wheelchair Storm team hosts the NWBA Women's National Championships. Our Sno-King Thunderbird Sled Hockey team host the first ever sled hockey game at the Showare Center and attends their first National tournament at the USA Hockey Disabled Festival with a record number of teams (60). Wheelchair tennis comes to Seattle. A great summer sport brings youth and adults together to form a league. Wheelchair table tennis is expanded in partnership with GreenLake Table Tennis Club and USTTA Open Serve.
It’s amazing what we can do when we come together.
Seattle Adaptive Sports (SAS) is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, recognized by the US Olympic/Paralympic Committee as a Paralympic Sports Club. SAS is dedicated to the promotion of the well-being of individuals with physical disabilities, by giving them the opportunity to participate and compete in athletic and recreational activities. Our participants benefit from the physical activity and socialization opportunities offered by the organization, improving self-esteem and physical well-being, as well as independence.
SAS serves over 100 athletes, ages 3 and older from the Puget Sound area, as well as sponsoring events drawing teams from across the country. As a resource, many more are matched in their local communities by supporting adaptive instruction to organizations providing individual sports in a multitude of venues.
SAS seeks to reach out to area schools by providing education and training in coaching students with disabilities by incorporating them into school sports and activities. Many SAS students compete with their school sports teams in track/field, swimming, bowling, archery, tennis and golf to attend the WIAA State Championships.