Tucson organization increases opportunities for athletes with disabilities

TUCSON, Arizona (KGUN) – On a hot summer day, the cool, air-conditioned gym is the perfect spot. For nine-year-old Esteban Carrion, coming here is the best part of the week.

“I come here most of the week, just to hang out with them and play a few games,” Carrion said.

Carrion has been with Southern Arizona Adaptive Sports (SAAS) since he was four years old. SAAS is one of the only wheelchair sports organizations in southern Arizona.

“We serve our community of people with physical disabilities. Anyone at risk of being paralyzed due to spinal cord injury, spina bifida, limb loss or amputation,” Mia said. Hansen, executive director of Southern Arizona Adaptive Sports.

SAAS isn’t just for kids. Adults are also welcome to play in their own league.

“Having hobbies is so important for everyone. When we get out and exercise, we feel better, we feel healthier, we feel more engaged,” Hansen said.

While basketball was the center of attention on Saturday, SAAS offers a bit of everything.

“Wheelchair tennis, wheelchair softball, wheelchair cycling. We also have an outdoor adventure program where we take people hiking, bird watching, camping,” Hansen said.

Athletes are proof that you can do whatever you want.

“For people who want to try but aren’t sure whether to try, come on. Give it a try. There are all kinds of sports you can try. There is no age limit. There is no There really is no limit to what we can do,” said Southern Arizona Adaptive Sports volunteer and participant Faith Capone.
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