Camp draws athletes in wheelchairs to UNI - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Camp draws athletes in wheelchairs to UNI

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

The Iowa Adapted Sports Camp was held at the University of Northern Iowa this week.

From June 18-21, about 20 athletes participated in activities like rock climbing, basketball, volleyball and tennis.

Most of the athletes who use wheelchairs were from Iowa.

"Just because we're physically challenged doesn't mean that we can't play the sports that the able-bodied community can," said coach Tasha DeGroote.

Since 2006, the camp has continued to grow.

Karlee Hughes, 8, came back for her second year.

"Because it's just fun!" she said.

Meanwhile, it was the first year at camp for Darcy Goette, 17, of Cedar Rapids.

Goette broke her back last year during a motocross race and was told she'd never walk again.

She spends most of her time in a wheelchair, and said she liked her first experience at camp because she felt like she fit in.

"Coming up here and meeting different people -- everyone is just, I don't know, they're cool people up here, like I don't really know how to describe it," she said.

DeGroote said she wasn't sure if camp would happen this year after the group's wheelchairs and adaptive sports equipment were stolen out a trailer in Cedar Rapids last December.

She said SportAbility of Iowa was able to raise enough money to purchase all new equipment.

DeGroote said it's the generosity of others that allowed camp to happen this year.

She said it costs about $200 for each athlete to attend, but that sponsorships are available.

More information on SportAbility of Iowa and its annual UNI Adapted Sports Camp can be found here.

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