Adaptive sports isn't something we see too often in the Texas Panhandle, but one local veteran's goal is to change that one chair at a time.
According to Joe Rodriguez, founder of One Chair at a Time, not all sports are adaptive, but there are several sports that were specifically created for those living with a disability. Rodriguez's focus is to involve more middle and high school students in these sports.
Rodriguez said, "I've met so many kids who are like me, who just want to play sports in school but can't."
Rodriguez organized a celebrity exhibition basketball game to help fundraise for sports wheelchairs. The chairs are specially designed for persons with disabilities. According to Rodriguez the chairs are state of the art which means they aren't cheap. Rodriguez said the cost of one is nearly $3,500 and insurance companies don't cover the expense. He said tennis chairs, rugby chairs, racing chairs and hand cycles are some examples.
For Rodriguez the basketball game is all about having fun, but what he has in mind for schools in the Texas Panhandle is more serious.
"It's going to take time before schools can grasp the concept but it can be done and it starts here," he said.
While in the U.S. Air Force Rodriguez was badly injured. He had no choice but to live the rest of his life on wheels, but it didn't stop him from helping others.
"I hope everyone continues to help us out continues to help these kids reach their goals and their dreams because that's the important thing that we're doing,?? Rodriguez said.
All the proceeds from the game will be used to purchase sports wheelchairs.