Oregon Disability Sports (ODS) is a private, nonprofit organization that provides and promotes sport, recreation, and fitness activities for children, youth, and adults with physical disabilities. Our motto is: Opening Doors for a Lifetime. We believe that promoting, encouraging, and supporting active lifestyles for people with physical disabilities results in a fuller and longer life.
ODS began in Salem in 1971, offering the Handicapped Olympics. The following year, as we gained participants and support, our program expanded to a statewide level. In fact, since our official incorporation in 1982, ODS has grown to provide opportunities for personal growth and achievements for more than 600 athletes each year.
ODS offers events and competition for all levels of athletes, from the beginner to the Paralympian. Our introductory or beginning events are the Challenge Games Program. This program offers adapted events designed for anyone with at least some level of functional ability. The contests range from races (both sprint and circuit) to throwing events (both distance and accuracy) to basketball shooting contests. These events are offered each year in Portland, Eugene, and Salem, and culminate in a Spring State Meet in Salem. We believe that the Challenge Games encourage physical fitness in addition to developing a sense of belonging for participating athletes.
Another facet of our Challenge Games Program is our Challenge Swim events. These events offer an introduction to fitness through aquatic exercise, and we have held sanctioned swim meets in conjunction with Challenge Swims events. Each year, ODS offers Challenge Swim programs in both Eugene and Portland.
In addition to the Challenge Games, we also offer more traditional sports such as basketball, (quad) rugby, and tennis, which offer people with disabilities an opportunity for physical fitness and competition while promoting sportsmanship and the pursuit of an active and independent lifestyle. The ODS tennis program is ongoing in Beaverton and Salem and features individualized instruction for all players, regardless of skill level.
We also support a year-round basketball program in Eugene and Portland, and have recently started a program for junior players, the Junior Blazers. These programs travel throughout the Northwest competing with other programs from the same region.
Oregon Disability Sports collaborates with other groups in various arenas across the state to promote community awareness through our education and advocacy program by coordinating equipment loans, offering scholarships/sponsorships, and providing recognition programs for athletes with physical disabilities. We also publish a Resource Directory, which contains contact information of local and national sport associations for people with physical disabilities, and a quarterly newsletter called Personal Best. Together those publications supply extensive information and referrals to programs, events, and support services offered by ODS and other disability and sports-focused groups, locally and nationally.
The information provided in this website was supported by Grant/Cooperative Agreement Number U59DD000906 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.
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