Thanks to the efforts of their teacher Laurin Kennedy a group of students from Oakland’s Cole School came on their first field trip to BORP in March. All of the students from Cole are nonverbal and wheelchair users and none of them had ever cycled before. Everyone got on a bike for at least one lap around Aquatic Park, and everyone had a great time. We asked Laurin what she thought of their first BORP experience:
BORP had a wonderful and meaningful impact on the lives of each of my students. Adaptive cycling opened a whole new world to them that they’d never had the opportunity to explore before. Each of my students has moderate/severe physical and intellectual disabilities, so they each require specialized equipment to access physical activity. BORP provided that equipment for us, helped us select the most appropriate adaptive cycle for each student, and then organized and facilitated a ride. My students had a blast!
If I had to pick one student who enjoyed his time most, I would choose Darius. Darius suffers from a neurodegenerative illness that has steadily robbed him of his physical and cognitive abilities over time. In the past, he was a typically developing child who had control over his mind and body. As an adult, Darius is often frustrated because he cannot do the things he used to do as a young boy. When he was on the adaptive cycle, he seemed to be more happy and free that I’ve ever seen him. The cycle allowed him to move his legs in ways that he is unable to when he is confined to his wheelchair. He seemed to really enjoy the wind in his hair, moving his legs, and spending time with his mother, classmates, and teachers in a fun environment.
The best part of BORP’s cycling program is how invested the staff are to help our students. BORP transported our classroom to and from school using the Borp bus, took the time and energy to help us pick out the most appropriate equipment, helped lift/transfer our adult students using their in-house lift, and then supported us on an adaptive cycling ride. For 10 adult students, this is not an easy task. Everyone at Borp was so supportive and had a great attitude throughout our whole experience. That’s what really made our whole trip even more meaningful.
BORP hosted the 2018 NWBA Junior Division West Coast Conference Championship Tournament at the Arillaga Recreation Center on the campus of Stanford University on March 3-4. The tournament played host to a total of nine teams, including teams from Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Utah, and California. There were a total of 14 competitive games and two additional games, a “Girls Game” and an “All-Star Game” played during the weekend. The Utah Rush defeated the team from ParaSport Spokane to win the Championship and secure their bid into the National Tournament that will take place in April.
It was great to be on Stanford’s campus for the tournament. We have a new partnership with the Young Athletes Academy Program at Stanford’s Children’s Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center. This new relationship will enable BORP athletes to access the following services: sports medicine education (lectures on a wide range of topics), pre-season health assessments, access to “Ask a Nurse” program, and Injury/illness prevention programs.
On Tuesday mornings at the BORP Fitness Studio Ralph Somack teaches Seated Tai Chi. This new class is similar to Ralph’s popular Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention. Ralph leads the class through a practice of selected movements derived from the internal Chinese Martial Arts consisting mainly of Quang Ping Yang and Sun style Tai Chi and Ba Gua (Pa Kua). Tai Chi uses slow circular movements as a training aid to develop sensitivity and body alignment. Ba Gua emphases spiral movement energy likened to a “dragon soaring through the clouds.” Both disciplines use movements initiated by the core muscle groups to generate force. Tai Chi and Ba Gua are examples of moving meditation as well as sophisticated methods of building and applying refined power and integrating the mind, body, and spirit.
Ralph Somack is a Tai Chi and Pa Kua (Ba Gua) practitioner based in Oakland. He is a retired PhD chemist with 30 years of Tai Chi experience. Ralph is a former student of Tai Chi Grand Master Y-C Chiang and is Board Certified by the Tai Chi for Health Institute to teach Paul Lam’s Sun-style Tai Chi program for Arthritis and Fall Prevention. He is passionate about teaching Tai Chi to help people live healthier, less stressful lives by focusing on fundamental Tai Chi and Qi Gong principles of movement, body awareness, alignment and mental focus. He also enjoys windsurfing.
The BORP kids have had a great couple of months as they have prepared for the beginning of the season. The kids were able to play a pre-game scrimmage at the Warriors game on Nov. 24, just before the Warriors took on the Chicago Bulls at Oracle Arena. After a few nervous minutes on the court, Ben Thornton took over and ran the court like a pro. Cutting through the defense he was able to score at will. Ella Rodriguez settled down to start hitting her outside shot and kept the scrimmage exciting.
*PacWest Performance Cycling Program in partnership with BORP inside the Fitness Studio located at Ed Roberts Campus building directly across from the Ashby BART Station.
This training program features Wahoo Fitness’ industry-leading KICKR smart trainers and their innovative KICKR Studio wireless multi-rider system. All riders will train using their FTP (functional threshold power) as well as track heart rate, cadence and calories burned. Individual results are emailed immediately following the conclusion of each workout.
Current Class Schedule
Days: Tuesdays & Thursdays
Time: 6:00-7:15 am
No classes during the week of December 25-29.
Your First Drop-In Class is FREE — Then if you like the program, PacWest is offering a special $99 introductory package for six (6) classes.
Package additionally includes group test to determine your FTP number#, free bike fit and equipment assessment.
If you are in need of a proper bike fit, or have additional questions, click here to contact PacWest.
A portion of your registration dollars goes directly to our charity and facility partner BORP (Bay Area Outreach & Recreation Program) to help fund their amazing adaptive sports and recreation programs for Bay Area residents with physical disabilities.
This week’s fires in the North Bay have impacted the entire Bay Area, including the BORP Community. We were deeply saddened to learn that Christina Hanson was a victim of the fire in Santa Rosa and send our condolences to her friends and family. Christina was a BORP youth program participant from 2002 to 2006 — Click here to read a touching tribute to Christina from childhood friend and former BORP teammate, Christine Burke.
We have been in contact with many BORP participants who have been displaced as a result of the fires to ensure they have everything they need. All those impacted are invited to join a Facebook group we’ve set up to connect the BORP community with resources, temporary housing, and to meet other needs as they emerge.
BORP has hosted the annual Revolution Ride & Festival in Sonoma for 15 years and each year the community opens its arms to help us organize this important event, with local businesses and groups donating everything from coffee and bagels to pop-up tents and water coolers. We are deeply indebted to the region now devastated by fires. We reached out this week to ask the BORP community to donate supplies for shelters serving evacuees and you responded generously and selflessly, bringing enough bedding, air mattresses, toiletries, water, and other items to fill the large BORP van. We delivered those items on Thursday morning to a distribution center in Benicia, CA and from there they will be sent to shelters across the region based on their needs.
When one distribution center volunteer saw the van full of supplies, she exclaimed: “You all are amazing.” We couldn’t agree more. Thank you to everyone who donated goods.
We are saddened to share that long-time member of the BORP family, Kathryn “KB” Black, passed away on Friday, September 1. KB believed deeply in BORP’s mission of creating opportunities for kids and adults to enjoy adaptive sports and recreation and her support and involvement over the years impacted the lives of countless BORP participants.
As BORP’s Co-Coordinator of the Children and Youth Sports Programs from 1993 to 1995, KB focused on the development of BORP’s power soccer team. She organized local tournaments and arranged travel for the team’s trips to away tournaments, including a trip to Canada. She also assisted Tim Orr, founder of BORP’s Youth Sports Program, with the wheelchair basketball and track & field programs, and in 1994 she was honored with BORP’s Coach of the Year award.
From 1990 to 1998 Kathryn was a member of the Bay Area Meteorites Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team. In her first year, she was a member of the 1990 Gold Cup and Pan American USA Women’s Wheelchair Basketball teams. In 1994 she was again on the Gold Cup Team and was an alternate on the 1996 USA Women’s Basketball Team. She was inducted into BORP’s Hall of Fame in 2016.
KB left BORP in order to pursue a Masters degree in Occupational Therapy with a focus in pediatric but continued to stay involved as a participant and supporter for the rest of her life. KB participated in every Revolution event and she will be greatly missed at this year’s REV. We are honored that her family and friends will ride in honor of her life and with the goal of enriching others this year.
Reflecting on the loss to our BORP family, Tim Orr, founder of BORP’s Youth Sports Program said, “This week, BORP lost an awesome athlete, coach, and friend. Kathryn “KB” Black was one of a kind. And truly, it’s wrong to say that we lost her, because her competitive spirit, support, and love will live on in all of us at BORP for as long as we keep on pushing.”
If you ask Kerry Kingdon what her favorite sport is, she’ll give you a list. Narrowing it down would be impossible for someone so active. “Triathlons and archery… and volleyball, lacrosse, and basketball…”
But as a kid growing up in San Lorenzo, CA, Kerry says she didn’t enjoy team sports or think of herself as athletic. “When I would play sports as a kid I never felt supported by my team.” Then when she was a teenager, Kerry’s doctor told her that had limited time left on her knee and at age 16 she had her first surgery.
“I wanted a better story,” she says. And so she started running and at 24 she ran her first half marathon. “My doctor told me I had to stop if it hurt. So I knew I would finish.” Over the next several years Kerry would go on to run thirteen half marathons and one ultra-marathon (31 miles). She also began transitioning to using a wheelchair.
In 2015 she received a Challenged Athletes Grant to compete in her first triathlon. “I always wanted to do one…” she said. A friend modified her standard bike so that she could pedal with one leg and she started training. But during the event, she realized that the bike modification wouldn’t work for her, and she struggled to finish the race. But she did finish.
As Kerry’s ability evolved, she learned new ways to adapt the sports she had grown to love. Today she has completed eight triathlons, competing both individually and as part of relay teams, using a hand cycle and pushing the runs.
She also discovered BORP. “I started researching sports for people with disabilities and found BORP.” And, as it turns out, Kerry really likes team sports. “BORP was the first place with these sports that I could try,” she says. And now Kerry has a lot of friends who also have disabilities, and that’s important to her. “I love the support I get. There’s team spirit and people who want to help me improve. I get that a lot more in wheelchair sports than I ever did before.”
The disability community Kerry discovered through participating in sports has become an important part of her life. Kerry recalls that at her first Opening Day at BORP there was a young boy who had never been able to try any sports before. In just a few hours she’d seen that he’d transformed from being tentative and shy, to racing BORP basketball players around the court, his eyes getting brighter and brighter over the course of the day. “Support from friends and family is awesome,” she reflected, “but it’s a whole other world when you’re able to interact with others that use a wheelchair. It’s nice to talk to people that have some of the same experiences you do. That’s what I’ve gotten from BORP, the Abilities Expo, adaptive sports clinics, and races that are big enough to have more than just me as the wheelchair division.”
Today Kerry is training for another triathlon and a half marathon. She’s also planning to start competing in archery, plays basketball at BORP as often as she can and plays sitting volleyball and lacrosse.
Her story now includes a BORP community that supports her and races and triathlons across the country adding up to more than 450 event miles on foot, and more than 10 races (marathons, half marathons, and triathlons) after transitioning to a wheelchair. But her proudest moment, she says “was when I stopped listening to the voice in my head that said I shouldn’t be doing this.”
We’ve been happily giving away these nifty BORP hats every Tuesday to the Revolution rider who raises the most money that week, but recently something unexpected happened.
Annie Kaferle registered for the Revolution on Monday afternoon. And by the time we were calculating the winner of the week’s hat giveaway, she was squarely in the lead. When the contest officially ended at noon on Tuesday, Annie had raised over $700. In less than 24 hours.
“I sent an e-mail to my friends and family with the link in it – riffing on what BORP provided with a little personal blurb about why I chose to support BORP and then I also posted a similar link on Facebook for people to donate directly. I have to say, I think the more you facilitate donating (i.e. adding a hyperlink) the easier it is for people to donate – and quickly! I’m pretty lucky to have such generous friends and family that are willing to donate to a cause that I am interested in!”
If you haven’t registered for the 15th Annual BORP Revolution Ride & Festival yet or haven’t started fundraising, don’t worry. There’s still time to meet and exceed the $400 minimum fundraising requirement.
Try personalizing the templates we provide, like Annie did, with your own reasons for supporting BORP and sending it to your friends, family, and coworkers. Be sure to include the link to your personal or team page.
You can also post something similar, including the link to your fundraising page and your reasons for getting involved with BORP and riding in the Revolution, to your Facebook page.
Give it a try! You may be surprised by how much your friends and family want to support you and care about the causes that you’re committed to! Plus, we’re giving a BORP hat to this week’s top TWO fundraisers, and you could win! (All donations made between Tuesday, August 22 and Tuesday, August 29 at noon will count toward the contest. Winners will be notified on Tuesday, August 29.)