A BIG thank you to the more than 45 people who recently responded to the Neilsen Survey regarding BORP programming for people with spinal cord injuries.
We truly appreciate you taking the time to let us know your interests. The survey results will help us to create programs and activities that will engage our SCI community in fun and fitness with the goal of receiving the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
Stay tuned as we plan these activities. In the meantime, if you want to get started exercising now please check out BORP’s website for a list of current activities. Don’t forget, we are offering a special free or discounted Neilsen pass at the fitness center for those who qualify.
If you expressed interest in the peer fitness program we will be in contact with more information in early March.
The BORP Youth Sports Program started the year off strong. The Sharks Sled Hockey Team visited Orange County, CA to compete in the very first Pacific Division Youth Sled Hockey Tournament. They played against teams from Colorado, San Diego, and a combined Los Angeles/Las Vegas team and went 4-0 over the weekend. Three members of the team were invited to the NHL Red Carpet event during the All-Star Weekend in San Jose.
The players got to meet the NHL All-Stars including the three players from the San Jose Sharks. Two members of the Sharks Sled Hockey Team, Zach Nazareno and Garnett Silver-Hall have been invited out to Philadelphia to compete in the Sled Hockey Skills competition during the NHL Outdoor Classic.
The Sharks also helped support the launch of a new program in Stockton during their “Try Sled Hockey” event. Twenty kids from the Stockton area came out to try the sport for the first time.
The Sharks Sled Hockey Team will be competing in the USA Hockey Disabled Hockey Festival in Tampa Bay, Florida in April. The team has advanced to the Championship Game in the past two years, winning the National Championship for their division in 2017.
The Jr. Road Warriors hosted the 2019 West Coast Invitational Tournament at Stanford University. Teams from Portland, Spokane, and Los Angeles attended the competition and the team went 3-2 over the weekend. The team will be competing in the West Coast Conference Championship Tournament, March 1-3 in Seattle and finishing off the season at the NWBA Jr. Division National Championships in Chicago, March 29-31.
The white and blue striped BORP bus pulled up to a Stanford gym and parked to unload. A loud diesel bus engine idle was drowned out by BORP’s youth basketball team chatter and hip hop music coming from their portable speaker. They unloaded out of the bus through the stairwell and off the wheelchair lift one by one each wearing their branded Jr. Road Warriors jerseys and huge smiles. Being able to travel together to their tournament on the bus creates a sense of camaraderie, leadership, and team mentality. The youth transfer their skills and confidence over to their performance in the gym, school, home and community.
BORP’s accessible group trip transportation service is made possible by funding from Alameda County Transportation Commission through the Special Transportation Program for Seniors and People with Disabilities (Measure B funds). This service is aimed at improving the mobility of people with disabilities and increasing access to sports and recreation activities by supplementing conventional fixed route service and addressing the current gap in accessible group trip options for youth and adults with disabilities in Alameda County. More information about this project can be found at: here or at here.
In addition to providing transportation for BORP program participants, we also offer a fee-for-service Group Trip Service option with discounted community rates for disability groups and nonprofits. Recently, we have served Lighthouse for the Blind, Independent Living Resource Centers, Children’s Skin Disease Foundation, Providence House, and YES Nature to Neighborhoods, to name a few. Our accessible buses allow your entire group to travel together in the same vehicle whether individuals are using a wheelchair or not. This promotes an atmosphere of inclusion and boosts group morale.
If you, or someone you know is planning a group trip, let us know if you would like to inquire about an accessible bus for your outing. We appreciate the opportunity to serve our fellow community organizations.
Point of contact: BORP Transportation Coordinator, Sarah-Dawn Smith, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Katherine Russell was a big winner at the 2018 Poker Night Fundraiser. After taking first place in this annual fundraiser for BORP’s Power Soccer program, Katherine found herself loaded down with prizes, including tickets to the SF Giants and the Curran Theater, as well as several bottles of wine.
“I was amazed at the generosity of the companies that donated the prizes,” says Katherine. “But, like me, they understand what a great organization BORP is and how it really does transform people’s lives.”
Katherine first learned about BORP in 2010 when she was making a documentary about power soccer. That experience turned her into a longtime BORP supporter. “The staff are amazing and BORP is such an incredibly well-run organization,” she says.
Katherine went to her first BORP Poker Slam several years ago. “I was a complete beginner that first year,” she says. “But that didn’t matter. It’s not so much a competition as a really friendly and fun event.”
For newbies, there’s a poker tutorial at the beginning of the evening. Katherine also points out that novices often receive tips from more experienced players during the games. “I’ve seen people who have no idea what they’re doing go on to win big pots,” says Katherine.
In fact, most years, complete beginners walk away with at least one of the prizes—and there are plenty to go around. This year, prizes include a private winery tour and tasting, tickets to the Giants and the A’s, Cal Shakes tickets, and an array of gift certificates. Still, even if you don’t leave with one of the prizes, after such a fun-filled event, everyone walks away a winner.
A major Beach Restoration and Public Access project has transformed Albany Beach into a lovely spot to watch a sunset, have a picnic, or hang out with your dog on the beach. Disabled access improvements include, new accessible restrooms and picnic tables, and two short boardwalks on the upper portion of the beach. The boardwalks don’t get you close to the water but the view is nice from them and BORP is reaching out to East Bay Parks to request that they acquire a beach wheelchair which would make the beach more accessible.
Surrounding trails at the Albany Bulb offer some access although the dirt trails can be muddy during the rainy season; a paved trail alongside Buchanan St. has a few bird viewing decks. Phase 3 of the project will result in a 1-mile shoreline extension of the San Francisco Bay Trail between Albany Beach and Gilman Street. Once completed in late 2019, cyclists and pedestrians will no longer need to traverse the steep hills of the racetrack to connect from Gilman St. to Buchanan St. This will be a welcome change for BORP cyclists.
The disabled parking spaces closest to the beach aren’t great but better ones are along Buchanan St. before you reach the beach. New parking is also planned for Phase 3. Click here to view a map and construction update.