Sports programming in Southern California for kids, adults & veterans with physical disabilities or impairments. (Southern California)
The mission of Angel City Sports is to create sports opportunities for adults, children, and veterans with physical differences and impairments. Our goals are to encourage physical ACTivity and demonstrate LEADership to strengthen the adaptive sports movement. Our initial programming focus is on Southern California, but our events and programming will draw athletes from all over the country.
Access to Equipment – Maintain an inventory of Adaptive Sports equipment to minimize equipment barriers.
Competition – The Angel City Games, Southern California’s own Paralympic-style multi-sport competition.
Training – Host and coordinate introductory sport clinics, athlete training and development programs.
Leadership – Lead the Adaptive Sports community through partnerships, collaboration and resource sharing.
Ecosystem – Connect athletes and partners to spark the Adaptive Sports movement.
Awareness – Increase awareness of Adaptive Sport and the Paralympic movement through all types of media.
Development – Develop and share athlete stories to grow the Paralympic movement.
Angel City Sports is addressing a significant societal problem that there is a large population of individuals living with physical challenges in Southern California, yet participation rates in adaptive sports programs are extremely low as a percentage of the disabled population. Even making the assumption that there were 50 strong adaptive sports programs that each had 1,000 athletes in Los Angeles and Orange County, therefore there were 50,000 known athletes participating in adaptive sports programs, this would amount to only 3% of the 1.7 M that have trouble walking or climbing stairs. In reality, the numbers are significantly worse, as there are roughly 10-15 programs, each with 100 athletes at most, in Southern California.
In fact, the most telling of all statistics is anecdotal evidence from the US Paralympic Committee. According to US Paralympics officials, they do not see elite Paralympic athletes emerging from Southern California. With all of the NBA, NFL, MLB and NCAA athletes that emerge from Southern California, how is it possible that we do not generate any elite Paralympic athletes? We believe the reasons for these low participation rates include the fragmentation of the community, the difficulty in reaching the athletes, the high barriers to access, equipment, and coaching, the general scarcity of adaptive sports programming, and the confusion between Special Olympics and Paralympics / Adaptive Sports. The simple fact is there are no substantial programs for athletes with physical disabilities to learn about new sports, receive expert coaching, develop their skills, and test themselves in elite competitions. The basic infrastructure required to develop athletes is simply not in place in Southern California. We plan to build it.