There’s a new nonprofit organization in the Coachella Valley. Palms to Pines Parasports is dedicated to developing new adaptive sports activities for people with physical disabilities in Riverside County.
News Channel 3’s Caitlin Thropay was at the group’s official launch Saturday in Palm Desert.
“There are so many life lessons you learn from playing sports,” Michael Rosenkrantz, board president of Palms to Pines Parasports told News Channel 3.
Rosenkrantz and a few others used their time during the pandemic to start a new organization.
“There’s a lot of opportunities for able-bodied people but it’s not the same for people with disability,” he said.
To fix this and provide people with disabilities more opportunities he helped start a nonprofit organization called Palms to Pines Parasports.
“We’ve already started an online support group Wednesday nights," Rosenkrantz said. "We’re going to be starting wheelchair pickleball, wheelchair tennis, wheelchair basketball, archery, boccia ball. Those of course will all be outside and responsibly social distanced,” he added.
Rosenkrantz said they’re not stopping there.
“Whatever sport someone wants to play, we want to be able to offer,” he said.
Palms to Pines Parasports will serve all of Riverside County.
“Seven years ago, I had a heavy equipment accident," Jerry Alcorn with Palms to Pines Parasports told News Channel 3. "A piece of heavy construction equipment landed on top of me and crushed me and I’m considered a walking paraplegic,” he said.
After the accident, Alcorn shifted his focus from construction to adaptive sports.
“It has become my heart and passion, it really has. During this journey, I’ve lost over 130 pounds by being active and trying to be accessible,” Alcorn said.
“It’s the gem. Getting Everybody Moving; G.E.M. and that’s what Palms to Pines Parasports is all about,” William Rogers said.
The organization is already helping people get moving even in the midst of a pandemic.
“It’s helped me physically and also mentally," Damian Sanchez said. "My mental mindset is in a really good place and it’s all because of this,” he added.
“I think it’s just an amazing organization to have because I feel like Palms to Pines Parasports is going to bring the opportunity for disabled persons that weren’t available before,” Ali Qazi, Treasurer, Palms to Pines Parasports told News Channel 3.
To learn about Palms to Pines Parasports visit their website here: https://www.palmstopinesparasports.org/
Wheelchair tennis and pickleball start next week, Thursday, October 29. You can register here: https://www.myrecreationdistrict.com/adaptivetherapeutic-sports-recreation
Though they aren’t playing full games right now, they're learning skills and drills to keep active.