Four West Coast University master of science in occupational therapy students volunteered this November at the Triumph Foundation's inaugural Adaptive Sports Festival in Pasadena.
The students — Johan Gutierrez, Denise Acone, Blake Erban and Kelsey Schroeder — helped with early set-up for the festival, transferring clients from wheelchairs to hand-cycling adapted bikes and assisted during the "Beep Baseball" event for visually impaired individuals. A few of the students actually donned blindfolds and stepped up to the plate during Beep Baseball to simulate the full experience.
"The event provided the MSOT students an opportunity to utilize skills they are learning in the classroom and help the athletes participate in meaningful activities," WCU OT professor and interim dean Christy Billock said.
Other adapted games played at the festival included quad rugby, tennis, pickleball, Zumba, bocce ball, hand-cycling and many more. The Triumph Foundation is a non-profit organization that helps children, adults and veterans with spinal cord injuries triumph over their disability and inspires them to keep moving forward with their lives by pushing themselves to get better every day.
"Overall, it was such a fulfilling and humbling experience," WCU MSOT student Johan Gutierrez said. "We definitely recommend others to volunteer for the Triumph Foundation."