Media Contact:
Laura Phillips
Laura.Phillips@miamidade.gov
305-755-7842

"Paralympic Experience" returning to Tropical Park, Saturday, October 28

MIAMI (October 03, 2017)

Individuals with physical and visual disabilities and their families are invited to come out to Tropical Park, 7900 SW 40 St., Miami, on Saturday, October 28, 2017, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. for the “Paralympic Experience.” The event is free and open to the public, is presented by the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department, as a Paralympic Sport Club, in conjunction with several of its local Paralympic partners.

Be inspired by Paralympic sports coaches and athletes, as they participate in an array of fun, adapted sports activities, such as kayaking, canoeing, wheelchair basketball, rowing, hand cycling, and Boccia. Miami-Dade Parks’ famed Miami HEAT Wheels wheelchair basketball team (2015 NWBA National Champions) will also make the scene with exciting Paralympic sports action.

New this year is the “wheelchair slalom course,” which mimics obstacles that people using wheelchair come up against every day, such as bumps in the roads and steps, when wheelchair ramps aren’t available.  The course is the brain-child of local Eagle Scout, John Henry Bowles, and was designed by his dad Hank, an engineer. Construction was made possible by FPL External Affairs, and other generous sponsors and volunteers that included Wynwood Graffiti artist Alex Lutin, who paints from his wheelchair. 

Paralympic athletes with physical disabilities and visual impairments from all over South Florida turn out for this adapted sports event.  Competitors include people of all ages and ability levels, including military veterans.
 
Jody Cox, a Miami-Dade Parks recreation therapist coordinating the event said: “This event will allow residents with disabilities and their families to experience the Paralympic sports first-hand and learn how they can get involved in these activities locally.”

Adapted sports participants are advised to register in advance of the event date by contacting Jody Cox at 305-234-1673 or jsantia@miamidade.gov.  Registration will also be available on event day at the park’s Mary Abreu Community Center, starting at 9 a.m.
 
Partner agencies for the “2017 Paralympic Experience” include Team Paradise Sailing, Spinal Cord Injury Support Group of Miami, Woody Foundation, and FIU Recreation Therapy.

For directions to Tropical Park, visit the web page or call 305-226-8315.

The Miami-Dade County Parks Disability Services division promotes the involvement of persons with disabilities in all Miami-Dade County Parks’ services and activities.  As both a Paralympic Sports Club and BlazeSports Club they train persons with physical and visual impairments desiring to engage in recreational and competitive adaptive sports.  For more information visit the web page.

Miami-Dade Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 270 parks and 13,573 acres of land. It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world and focused on Placemaking, Health and Fitness and Conservation and Stewardship. The non-profit Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade supports Miami-Dade Parks’ efforts to further develop Miami-Dade County’s world-class parks system for residents and visitors.