The University of Texas at Arlington’s Movin’ Mavs visited Good Shepherd Episcopal School Nov. 1 and 2 to raise awareness for people with disabilities and their capabilities playing sports.
UTA’s Movin Mavs is a pair of basketball teams composed of men and women in wheelchairs. The men’s team has historically won 10 National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament Championships, while the women’s teams has captured two.
“Obviously, it’s harder for them to play basketball,” eighth grader Amelia J. said. “They told us you have to enjoy the work that you put in; not just the result. To know they can do it, tells me I can do it too.”
The two teams split up, the men talking to second, third, and fourth graders while the women spoke with middle schoolers.
Each of the athletes discussed their disability, how they define leadership, and the importance of living responsibly. Cezar Olivas, assistant director for UTA’s Adapted Sports, educated students on the rules of wheelchair basketball.
After they talked, the basketball players participated in basketball demonstrations and ended the days engaged in friendly free throw competitions with students.
“It gave me a sense of motivation,” eighth grader Rex N. said. “They had an extreme disability, one that I thought could limit them from playing sports. They showed us they can play college basketball, which is truly motivational.”