With summer in full swing, so are summer camps.
There’s a very unique camp in Connecticut that gives children who are in wheelchairs the chance to shoot hoops.
For the past nine years, the Ryan Martin Foundation Wheelchair Basketball Camp has been giving disabled youth a chance to come together and play hoops, moving their mindset from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can.”
“It makes me exercise more and it makes me healthier than I was before because I would just be sitting at home if it wasn't for here,” said Hennessy Hernandez, of Naugatuck.
“It’s really fun. I like to play around in my wheelchair a lot,” Jack Maguire Ruopp, of Southbury.
Ryan Martin himself knows the benefits of playing basketball.
Born with spina bifida, both of his legs were amputated at the age of two.
But discovering basketball transformed his world from "wheelchair bound” to “bound for college,” professional hoops, and giving back.
"Individuals with disabilities don't have the same opportunities in athletics so to be able to provide that opportunity for other individuals is absolutely huge,” Martin said.
The one week free camp at Loomis Chaffee is about so much more than just basketball.
It's about hard work, teamwork, and building confidence, and Martin is all about instilling the importance of an education.
He's even working on having UConn add a wheelchair basketball program so the children could be future Huskies.
No limits, just perceived limitations.
“I think instead of them being perceived as the kid in the wheelchair, oh they're the basketball player. They're the athlete,” Martin said.
For more information on the Ryan Martin Foundation, click here.
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