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Rochester Hills

September 18, 2013

Paralympic Experience at OU

By Linda Shepard
C & G Staff Writer

ROCHESTER HILLS — Oakland County Parks will host a free expo of adaptive recreation park programs — including skiing, golfing, basketball, fishing, volleyball and more — for disabled individuals and veterans.

The Paralympic Experience and Sports Expo will be held 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 21 at the OU Recreation Center on the campus of Oakland University.

“It will show people with disabilities what opportunities are out there for them at Oakland County Parks,” said Sandy Dorey, Parks and Recreation supervisor.

Disabled sports groups will be on hand to give information about their activities.

“We have about 10 groups coming in that will have information about things like downhill skiing,” Dorey said. “We are also focusing on disabled veterans, and we will have veterans organizations.

“We will also be surveying the people who come to see what they want,” she said, “the type of leisure and recreation programs they would like — like possibly archery and swimming. We are adding new programs.”

“There are 164,294 individuals with disabilities in Oakland County, according to the U.S. census, representing 13 percent of the population,” said Oakland County Parks and Recreation Executive Officer Dan Stencil in a statement. “We are increasing our adaptive recreation programs to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities, including disabled veterans. Oakland County Parks and Recreation is proud to provide adaptive recreation opportunities this fall and beyond.”

The Paralympic Experience program introduces Paralympic sports on local and international levels. The goal of the program is to show individuals with physical and visual disabilities how participation in sports and living a healthy, active lifestyle can have a positive impact.

Check-in for the Paralympic Experience and Sports Expo begins at 9:30 a.m. Demonstrations include wheelchair basketball by Detroit Diehards, wheelchair tennis by S.T.A.R. Rehab/Athletes Unlimited, golf, sit volleyball and fly fishing.

Information about disabled sports organizations, adaptive equipment and veterans service agencies and more will be available at the expo, along with highlights of former Paralympic events. Scot Severn, the 2012 Paralympic gold medal discus champion, will deliver a keynote address.

The OU Recreation Center is located on Pioneer Drive, off Squirrel Road, on the OU campus.

For more information or to register for the Paralympic Experience and Sports Expo, visit DestinationOakland.com.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Linda Shepard at lshepard@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1065.