Daemen College is launching a new athletics program that provides people with disabilities weekly opportunities to experience the excitement and camaraderie of sports.
The free program is not about wins and losses as much as it is about having fun, exercising and fostering sportsmanship, said Daemen Athletics Director Bridget Niland.
It’s called The Center for Allied and Unified Sports and Exercise, or CAUSE. Participants will work with student athletes and staff as they participate in a variety of sports:
“Our student athletes are definitely instructed to take their competitiveness down several levels, so that it’s really about the participants,” Niland told WBFO.
The program is open to people of all ages and is staged Sunday afternoons at Daemen. What type of sports are offered?
“It could be anything from soccer to basketball, to this great game in Australia in the disabled community called netball," Niland said. “And there are also just games you play in the backyard that you may not play in a competitive sense, but more in collaborative sense.”
"We are proud to establish the CAUSE program at Daemen, and thank both the Buffalo Bills Foundation and the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo for their generous funding of this endeavor," said Daemen President Gary A. Olson in a written statement. "This new initiative will create unique opportunities for our students, faculty, and staff to share their passion for sport and exercise while making a positive impact in the lives of persons with disabilities throughout Western New York."
Caregivers are required to submit a registration form on the behalf of CAUSE participants prior to their first session.
WBFO's Terrance Young contributed to this report.