Bowman Cup allows runners to ‘Race for Ability’

Shantae Rollins

Competition was open to all

Bowman Cup participants who were eager to support people with disabilities had a chance to “Race for Ability” Saturday.

Student Accessibility Services and the Student Recreation and Wellness Center collaborated to develop a new modified version of the 5K race -ÿthe “1-Mile Walk and Roll” -ÿaimed at encouraging people of every level of ability to participate.

Editorial communication associate Sue Smith said the accommodations to guarantee that everyone who wanted to participate could do so were very exciting.

“For the first time, they’ve ensured the race is accommodating to people with all disabilities,” Smith said. “Volunteers, such as American Sign Language interpreters, are on hand to help anyone with special assistance needs.”

The “1-Mile Walk and Roll” portion was comprised of a few dozen parents, children, students and community members.

Bill Adams, a visually impaired alumnus and volunteer for the race, said it was completely accommodating for anyone who wanted to do it.

“In addition to a gunshot at the beginning of the race, there was a flag for those who can’t hear as well,” Adams said. ” The roads were paved for stroller and wheelchair accessibility.”

Roger Gerlinder, who belongs to the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, participated in the Race for Ability with his daughter and two granddaughters because he is in a wheelchair.

“I wish I’d been here for the 5K race, but I wasn’t aware it was wheelchair accessible,” Gerlinder said. “I was disappointed there weren’t more people with disabilities involved, but it was the first year, and they just need to get the word out more.”

The race served as a way to raise awareness and provide equal access for everyone involved. The proceeds benefited the Special Olympics.

Danielle Flickinger, a graduate assistant with University Health Services, said the race was a lot of fun and families really seemed to appreciate it.

“The race was predominately on sidewalks with curb cuts,” Flickinger said. “It was for anyone who wanted to get exercise, and it was a great way to build community.”

Contact student affairs reporter Shantae Rollins at [email protected].