BORP E-News – 1st Quater 2014

BORP logo with images of BORP athletes inside the letters
BORP E-News 2014 Q1 banner

In This Issue:

Message from the ED

Poker Slam

Upcoming Events

Cycling the Coast

Jr. Road Warriors Report

Office Move

BORP Paralympians

Revolution Teaser

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You can help make sports and recreation accessible for everyone, by making an online gift. Thank you!

Save the Date

The 12th Annual
BORP Revolution Ride
will be on:

Sept. 27, 2014

New BORP Staff Member Geoff Evans

Geoff EvansOutreach and Transitions Specialist, Geoff Evans

Geoff has recently returned to the East Bay, having spent the last three years attending graduate school at the University of California Santa Barbara where he obtained an M.A. degree in East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies and served as a graduate teaching assistant. Most recently, he has been providing academic writing instruction, tutoring and mentorship to refugee, asylee and recent immigrant youth populations in San Francisco and Oakland. Aside from his brief stint in Santa Barbara, Geoff has lived in Oakland and Berkeley since the early 1990’s. Having spent many years as a musician, much of his time and energies were directed towards rehearsing, recording and performing both locally and internationally. During this time, he also held various part time positions, primarily in fundraising for various non-profit organizations, and attended local community colleges, eventually transferring to SFSU where he obtained a B.A. degree in Philosophy.

Geoff is excited to join BORP and work with another local youth population. Having a physical disability himself, he is acutely aware of the importance of developing independent living skills, while simultaneously fostering social integration and connection to the larger community. As the Youth Outreach and Transitions Specialist, he is looking forward to facilitating recreational opportunities for local youth populations with physical disabilities and providing ongoing support to BORP’s current participants towards developing self-reliance, collaborative skills, and greater confidence in their abilities to achieve success in whatever they may choose to pursue in life.

Cycling Center HoursAttention BORP Cyclists and friends!  We’ve added hours for Daylight Savings Time – come ride after work or school!:Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays: 12pm – 7pmSaturdays: 9am – 3pmIf it is raining we may be closed, you can always call the center at 510-848-2930 to check.


Special Events and Ride schedule coming soon.


BORP Board of Directors
John Ormsby
Vice President
Karla Gilbride, Esq.
Yaron Lipshitz
Managing Director, Ridgecrest Capital Partners
Aydan Aysoy
Disability Rights Advocate
Matt Grigorieff
‘Fitness-for-All’ Coordinator, U.C. Berkeley
Eric Hoffmann
Senior Vice President, Moody’s Investor Services
Sam Marks
Staff, Schneider Wallace Law;
BORP Alumni; Youth Assistant Coach
Cynthia Noonan
Community Volunteer; BORP Participant
Alan Spector
Chief Executive Officer, Marin Sailing School;
Management Consultant
Honorary Board Members
Richard Bennett, Esq.
Senior Partner, Law Firm of Bennett & Johnson
Cheri Blauwet
Harvard Medical School Resident;
Paralympic Gold Medalist






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Message from the Executive DirectorExecutive Director Rick Smith

Dear Friend,

With the 2014 Winter Paralympics now in full swing, we’re reminded that athletic excellence can be achieved by anyone with the talent and commitment to ascend to the highest level of athletic competition.  This idea was reinforced at a recent BORP basketball practice when Trooper Johnson, former Paralympian, shared the Olympic torch he carried during the Olympic torch relay prior to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.  BORP’s youth basketball players got to hold the torch and take photos, and I was reminded, among other things, that BORP provides our participants with the Olympic dream and offers opportunities to aspire to the highest level of athletic achievement.  BORP is proud to be a Paralympic Sport Club and part of the larger movement, sponsored by the United States Olympic Committee, to engage youth with disabilities to consider the possibility of “going for gold.”

BORP Jr. Road Warriors pose with oach Trooper Johnson's 2002 Olympic torch

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You may remember that in early January 2013 the U.S. Department of Education issued a “Guidance Letter” to school superintendents notifying them that public schools have a responsibility under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to provide equal opportunities for students with disabilities to participate in extracurricular athletics.  The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights stated that sports and recreation activities are a right, and schools must therefore provide equal access to extracurricular sports activities to students with disabilities.  In response to this policy announcement a national coalition, Athletics For All, was formed to “provide an organizational framework by which schools, school districts, state associations, state governing agencies, athletes and parents can work together to provide equal opportunities to participate in competitive interscholastic sports for all students with disabilities”.  During the last year Athletics for All has developed a set of eight resource guides for eight specific sports to help schools adopt these activities into their sports programs. As a member of the group, I am particularly interested in supporting community organizations (like BORP) to partner with public schools to increase participation in adaptive sports.  Toward this end I am on the Local Engagement Committee which will be providing materials and guidance on strategies for successfully engaging with school officials.

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And lastly, because I own an old Subaru (2000) and use it from time to time to assist with BORP programs (mostly schlepping things), I was selected to be part a web commercial featuring my car and BORP.  The theme revolves around finding an old Subaru still in service, and then enhancing the car to increase the vehicle’s capacity to do good (in this case, for BORP).  Here’s the link to the 6 minute video:   As they say, no plans to give up my day job.

Rick Smith
Executive Director

11th Annual BORP Poker Slam

2014-poker-chipsBenefitting the BORP Power Soccer Program, the 11th Annual Poker Slam takes place on Saturday, March 15 from 5:30pm – 11:00pm at the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley.

Go “all in” at the poker tables in support of BORP’s Power Soccer Program.  No poker knowledge or skills are necessary to play.  Enjoy delicious food, refreshing beverages, a prize-studded raffle and wonderful company!

A beer and wine cash bar will be available.  Raffle tickets available at the Slam – must be present to win raffle prizes.

Upcoming Events

triptych of BORP Wheelchair basketball, Goalball, and Sled Hockey athletes

March 15 –  The 11th Annual BORP Poker Slam (benefiting the BORP Power Soccer Program).  5:30pm – 11:00pm at the Ed Roberts Campus, 3075 Adeline St, Berkeley, CA.

March 16 – 2nd Annual Delta Gamma Goalball Slam. 12:30pm – 4:30pm at the James Kenney Recreation Center, 1720 8th St, Berkeley, CA.  Spectators welcome!  Free.

March 22 & 2311th BORP Hoops Classic.  Northern California’s finest adult wheelchair basketball teams come together for a two-day tournament at James Kenney Recreation Center, 1720 8th St. in Berkeley.  BORP’s youth team, the Jr. Road Warriors, will also play.  Free to the public.

May 30 – June 2, 2014Valor Games Far West.  Returning to the Bay Area are the 2014 Valor Games for Veterans with disabilities eligible for VA healthcare. The goal of the Valor Games is to introduce adaptive sports to attendees.  The Games will be held on Coast Guard Island in Alameda this year.  Visit the official Valor Games Far West website for more information.

Cycling the Coast and Bay Trails

Adaptive cyclists on the new Bay BridgeBORP received a $20,000 grant from the California Coastal Commission to provide 10 adaptive cycling rides on sections of the California Coast Trail and the San Francisco Bay Trail in 2014.  Rides will take place on bike trails in Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Jose, San Francisco, Marin, and parts of the East Bay.  As part of the project, 10 BORP adaptive cyclists will also be trained as adaptive trail leaders and will assist in guiding the rides. As part of the grant, BORP will purchase three new handcycles which will be used for the trail rides and also be available year round at the BORP Cycling Center.  Dates for rides will be announced soon, you can sign up by contacting the Cycling Program.

 Jr. Road Warriors Report

The BORP Jr. Road Warriors recently competed at the NWBA Junior Wheelchair Basketball West Coast Conference Championship in Spokane, WA.  The BORP squad entered the tournament as the defending West Coast champs and was looking to secure a bid to this year’s National Championship tournament in Louisville, KY in April.

Winter was on full display in Spokane, with the temperatures hovering around 20 degrees and snow falling throughout the weekend — fun for the California kids.

Members of the 2014 BORP Jr. Road Warriors pose a photo in the snow

The Jr. Road Warriors enjoy the warm weather in Spokane, WA

The tournament started for the Jr. Road Warriors with a game against the Phoenix Jr. Suns, the first game all season against a very good Jr. Suns team and a great test.  Phoenix used their speed to create opportunities, and while BORP was able to control the tempo at times, it just was not enough as BORP lost 49-42.

Next up was the Seattle Jr. Sonics.  Seattle had beaten the BORP squad in Berkeley, and was ranked 10th in the country heading into the tournament.   The Jr. Road Warriors came out strong, putting pressure on Seattle every inch of the court, frustrating their guards and creating turnovers.  Koda Inman Ahlstrom, William Luong, Andre Sein-Colon, and Christie Levine were relentless with their pressure. Seattle decided to put on a press of their own and Amit Vigoda stepped up and made them pay.   Being only 11 years old, he really did not draw a lot of attention and Seattle was trying to stop Koda from getting down the court.  Two passes later, Amit would be going in for a lay-up.  It seemed like Groundhog Day, as the same thing happened over and over, and over.  Amit had the game of his young career, and the Jr. Road Warriors upset Seattle 54-44.

The Jr. Road Warriors take on the Seattle Jr. Sonics

Andre prepares to shoot against the Seattle Jr. Sonics

The stunning victory set up a rematch from earlier in the season against the host team from Spokane, a very aggressive team that swarmed like bees.  BORP had plenty of scoring opportunities, but it was like there was a lid on the basket.  Nothing would fall.

Cortney Outman and Daniel Diana continued to set incredible picks for their teammates, and in somewhat of a surprise, Cortney broke open for a lay-up and drew a foul.  Coach Trooper Johnson said afterwards, “seeing the confidence she has developed over the years is awesome.” Griffin Shannon came in and played some great defense, using his speed to slow down the transition game and support his teammates.  Unfortunately, as the baskets didn’t fall for the Bay Area kids, Spokane narrowly won 38-36.

The tough loss put BORP back up against the Seattle Jr. Sonics, in a must-win situation.  Seattle decided not to press this time and forced the Jr. Road Warriors to shoot from the outside. It was a smart move and BORP struggled to score.  Seattle had a much more balanced attack, pulled away early and won easily.

Seattle went on to defeat Spokane in the final game, becoming the 2014 West Coast Conference Champions.

Although the BORP team did not do as well on the court as we had planned or hoped for, it was another amazing weekend for the Northern California kids.

Highlights from the tournament:

–          Koda, Andre, and William represented the Jr. Road Warriors in the West Coast Conference All-Star Game.

–          Andre was the recipient of the Tournament Sportsmanship Award.

–          Daniel took his first trip with the team.

–          Griffin got to beat his old team.

–          Cortney drove to the basket, drew a foul, and took her first free throws.

–          Christie made a huge bucket when her team needed it most.

–          Amit played two extra games with an All-Star Prep team.

–          Upon returning home, after a long bout with a medical condition, BORP welcomed Isaiah Ahlstrom back on the court!!

We’ve Moved!

Moving boxes with BORP logo on side
BORP’s administrative offices have moved upstairs to suite 200 in the Ed Roberts Campus.  This move allows BORP to remain in the ERC while lowering our rent and consolidating our office space.  We are excited to be in our new suite and, as always, our doors are open.  Stop by and say hello.

All BORP staff phone numbers remain the same.

BORP Paralympians
With the Winter Paralympics underway, we looked back and compiled a list of former BORP participants, athletes, coaches, staff members, and friends who competed in previous Paralympic Games.  We’ve indicated the year of competition,  any medals won, and what country (if other than the USA) the athlete represented.  We think you’ll agree, it’s quite an impressive list.  If you notice that someone with a BORP connection is missing from this list, please let us know!

Scott Blanks – 2000
Jessica Lorenz – 2004 (Silver), 2008 (Gold)
Joseph Hamilton – 2000
Brandon Young – 2000
Lucy Greco (Canada) – 1988 (Bronze)
Kamilla Ryding (Denmark) – 2008 (Bronze), 2012
Christella Garcia – 2012
Jennifer Chew – 2012
Chuck Gill – 1996 (Bronze), 2000 (Bronze)
Susie Grimes – 1988 (Gold), 1992 (Silver)
Jennifer Howitt (Coach for Great Britain Women’s team) – 2008
Trooper Johnson – 1992, 1996 (Bronze), 2000 (Bronze), 2004
Susan Katz – 2004 (Gold)
Ruth Nunez – 1996 (Bronze)
Adriana Oliveira – (Brazil) 1996
Wheelchair Rugby
Stephen Pate – 2000 (Gold)
Track & Field
Cheri Blauwet – 2000 (3 Bronze, Silver), 2004 (2 Bronze, Gold), 2008
Susan Katz – 1996
Dylan Young – 1988 (Gold)
Kelly Crowley – 2004 (2 Gold)
James Lee – 1980
Kelly Crowley – 2012 (2 Bronze)
2016 hopefuls
Jennifer Chew
Jorge Sanchez
Trooper Johnson (Assistant Coach for the US Women’s team)
Matt Boyle (Men’s Asst. Coach)
Joe Hamilton
Track & Field
Sam Craven

Revolution Video Teaser

The BORP Revolution Team recently completed a 60 second video “teaser”.  Huge thanks to Director/Editor Alex Shebanow and the fantastic voiceover work of Sara Van Beckum!

The BORP Revolution - 60 second teaser