Wheelchair sports camp at UNI - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Wheelchair sports camp at UNI


by Danielle Wagner

CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) More than a dozen campers at this year's wheelchair sports camp might not be able to stand, but they're definitely athletes.

"You can do many things in wheelchairs," said nine-year-old Keri Siebrecht from Urbandale.

One of those many things is basketball. Campers don't let being in a wheelchair stop them from competing in sports.

"We're basically targeting a small group. These kids are mostly lower body disabilities, mostly good cognitive. Also good hand, eye coordination because we're pushing up and down courts, we're rock climbing," said organizer Jack Eherenman.

Many campers are already active.

"I already play softball, and I do dance," said Siebrecht.

But this camp is definitely a workout.

"It's a lot of fun. It's a lot of hard work, but it's a lot of fun," said Jordan Houdeshell.

It's also a great opportunity to meet other athletes in wheelchairs. Campers said whether you use legs or wheels, playing sports is playing sports.

"Just because we can't do everything how they do doesn't mean we can't do anything at all," said Jonathan Litzkow.

Organizer Jack Eherenman said while sports is what gets the campers in the door, there's a bigger goal.

"The independence is really what we're shooting for to get them to be involved. Not only in sports, but communities, jobs, families, school, everything else you would want your kids to be involved in," said Eherenman.

By the end, campers have new skills, new friends and new confidence.

This is just an introductory sports camp, but some of the campers use this as a stepping stone for competing and even have hopes of making it to the paralympics.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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