About Miami Valley Adapted Sports

Like many non-profit organizations, MVAS originated from humble beginnings. In 1988 a group of frustrated parents at Gorman Elementary School in Dayton, Ohio decided to collectively come together to offer intramural wheelchair basketball games for their disabled children.  The very informal group, called themselves Just for Kids.  At that time in the Dayton City School District, Gorman Elementary was one of two schools that catered to the needs of the district’s physically challenged students (Saunders, 2015). Within the span of four years, the coach, Joseph Gschwender, successfully submitted and obtained a 501c title for the group.  It was at this time that the group along with a college wheelchair team from Wright State University became known as Miami Valley Association of Disabled Athletes.  The organization was vibrant for many years but eventually became defunct.  In 2009, Joseph Gschwender Jr., submitted to reinstate the organization under 501c status.  It was at this time that the organization included the adult team, the Minute Men from Moraine, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton.  Currently, as of the writing of the document, MVAS, also includes a youth team, the Junior Minutemen, who has just completed its third season in competition.

MVAS is a U.S.Paralympics Sports Club. As a result they are required every year to have at least one event.  The events can be informative in nature are an actual sporting event that recruits potential future Paralympics Athletes. Since MVAS is a subsidiary of sorts of the U.S. Paralympics, they have access to all sorts of marketing tools at their disposal, including access to templates for advertising.  While this is indeed an advantage, careful thought must be had when planning and organizing events. The wheelchair organization must ensure that they don’t violate the terms of their contract with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). For example the organization can’t advertise Pepsi products since one of the USOC’s major sponsors is Coke.

Based on research, it has been concluded that there is a missing presence of inner city youth participating in adapted sports in the Dayton area. The scope of the study revolves around the benefits acquired by disabled youth who participate in adapted sports. Research will confirm that disabled youth who participate in organized sport activities obtain essential benefits that further their mental and social development.  In addition, research will provide an avenue of understanding on the realization that inner city youth, due to environmental circumstances, could possibly benefit more from participation in adapted sports.

There are two ways that the topic’s recommendations will have potential impact. First, the discussion of the study will increase awareness in the Dayton community on the need of adapted sports for inner city youth.  Based on interviews conducted, it has already been concluded by city officials and advocates that there is a dire need.  If in fact the awareness needs to be increased on behalf of the parents, recruitments events like the one on May 2, 2015 will need to continue.  Secondly, if inner city youth start to participate in adapted sports in Dayton, the Dayton industry of adapted sports will become diversified.  Diversity, which will be discussed in greater detail in following sections, is not only good for the industry, but for the youth as well.  By personally getting to know opposing cultures, the youth will learn to respect and appreciate everyone as individuals and not only members of a represented culture.  Additionally, since MVAS is a member of the U.S. Paralympics, any individual who participates in the local chapter can be developed and encouraged to participate in the Paralympics Games.  If more disabled inner city kids participate, then the chances that the Paralympics Games will also become more diversified.