Their wheelchairs were neatly lined up, facing the polished hardwood floors of the City of Burbank’s McCambridge Recreation Center.
Seated in them, a team of Powerchair Soccer athletes eagerly awaited for the ceremony that was taking place on their court to wrap up so that their practice session could get rolling.
On this sunny Sunday morning, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger was joined by other local leaders and city representatives to celebrate Los Angeles County’s contribution of $40,000 for the purchase of mobility equipment for the City’s Adaptive Sports Program.
The City of Burbank’s Parks and Recreation Department hosted the check presentation ceremony, which was attended by the athletes who will benefit from the donation, their family members, coaches, and others who consider themselves to be advocates and supporters of accessible play.
“I’m a proud supporter of the City of Burbank’s Adaptive Sports Program,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “I believe in bringing recreational opportunities to people of all abilities because it’s a portal to healthy living and strong self-esteem. I commend Burbank’s commitment to proactively making play accessible to individuals with disabilities. This program is known not just locally but regionally — families travel from far and wide to join these teams. There’s definitely a demand for inclusive sports and it’s a joy to be able to meet the need.”
The mobility equipment will be purchased using Proposition A funding. “Measure A, approved by voters with nearly 75% and administered by the Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District (RPOSD), is centered in access for all,” said Norma E. García-González, Director of the Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District. “We are proud that this Measure A grant exemplifies our collective commitment to access for all by supporting Adaptive Sports for youth in the Burbank and the greater San Fernando, Santa Clarita, and San Gabriel Valley areas.”
Senator Anthony J. Portantino commended the city’s adaptive sports program and the contribution of County funds. “It’s wonderful to be here today, surrounded by individuals who are ready and eager to showcase their talent and resilience,” said Senator Portantino. “The City of Burbank has emerged as a leader in providing inclusive, competitive sports, hand in hand with the County. This is how responsive local government should work.”
“The City’s vision for the Adaptive Sports program is to develop a comprehensive, innovative, and diverse offering of programs which allow individuals of all ages and ability levels to participate in activities that improve quality of life, boost self-confidence and self-esteem, helping individuals overcome challenges and achieve personal goals,” said Marisa Garcia, Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Director for the City of Burbank. “The Department is grateful for Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s contributions to this program. The City of Burbank is honored to partner with Coach Armando Ornelas to offer this fun and exciting opportunity to our community. Powerchair Soccer, Wheelchair Rugby, and Adaptive Sports in general are wonderful play opportunities that promote accessible and inclusive sports for athletes living in the Greater San Fernando, Santa Clarita, and San Gabriel Valley.”
More information on drop-in sports offered by the City of Burbank can be found at www.burbankca.gov/parks-recreation or by calling 818-238-5300.