The Auburn University Office of Accessibility’s mission is to help students overcome social and environmental barriers and that is exactly what they have done for freshman Chaffin Hart.
Like most freshman, Hart was looking for a way to get involved at Auburn as soon as she arrived last fall.
Extremely involved in high school, Hart was looking for a sports group she could join and be apart of. The only problem was that due to a permanent injury in her legs she could no longer enjoy the activities she used to be involved in.
Then she met a former Auburn wheelchair basketball member who guided her to AU adaptive sports. (Photo used with permission.)
Soon after, Hart contacted head coach Jared Rehm and began attending practices.
“It wasn’t like they babied me and it was so nice,” Hart said. “It was super inviting and encouraging.”
Although unable to practice with the team because of surgery Hart still feels welcomed by the team.
“I haven’t been able to practice at all this semester but they still count me as a teammate,” Hart said.
Taylor Wright, senior in exercise science, has also enjoyed her time on the team and the opportunities offered by the adaptive sports program.
Wright joined the team her junior year and has been extremely involved since then.
“I love challenges and have really given 110 percent to wheelchair basketball,” said Wright. “It gives me a purpose to stay active and keeps me focused.”
“In one word I would say wheelchair basketball is challenging,” Wright said. “It’s not just slowly pushing around in your grandmother’s wheelchair. It’s athletic and competitive.”
Wright and Hart agree that wheelchair basketball has been a great opportunity for them at Auburn.
“I had a family. I had a goal,” Hart said. “They pushed me mentally and physically, and I loved that!”
Auburn’s wheelchair basketball was developed through the School of Kinesiology and the team is the only of its kind offered in east Alabama.
“If you’re a student who is interested in any kind of adaptive play you can contact Jared Rehm or me,” Wright said. “To incoming freshman I would say, “give it a try”! Even if you find that you choose to pursue another sport like wheelchair tennis or track, wheelchair basketball is a great way to initially get involved and meet the staff.” (Photo used with permission.)
The team’s next two games are against the Shepherd Center Stealers on Saturday, February 28. The will be held in Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum will the first game at 10 a.m. and the second at noon.
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