Namine didn’t have wheelchair basketball practice, which she does through the Wisconsin Adaptive Sports Association. (That’s “WASA” for short.) The YMCA Miracle League had a basketball session going on around the same time as WASA’s, though, so Namine was still able to play.
Since WASA is a sports association, there’s a fair amount of pressure put on by the adults in charge to win games. Namine doesn’t travel to or play in tournaments. She’s getting a firmer grasp of the basics, but during the high chaos of a scrimmage she still struggles to keep up with kids faster and stronger than her.
The YMCA Miracle League, on the other hand, is not concerned with winning. There’s no pressure. They have a system by which an able-bodied person, called a Buddy, is paired up with each kid. Miracle League isn’t wheelchair-centric the way adaptive sports typically are, so, being the only one in a wheelchair made Namine the shortest kid on the court. That didn’t matter, though; she wasn’t ignored and kids passed her the ball just as much as anyone else.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that sometimes kids don’t need high pressure, competitive sports. Sometimes they just need the opportunity to get out with friends, where winning and losing don’t matter. Namine loves going to adaptive basketball, but she also enjoyed a calmer, more relaxed atmosphere too.
Just an hour after basketball ended, the Miracle League had another sporting event. Just like last week, Namine got to play soccer. There were a couple things different this time, though.
First and foremost was Namine’s wheelchair. Last week we had brought Namine’s sport chair, which is great on hard floors like a basketball court but not so great on grass (real or fake). So this week, we brought Namine’s everyday chair and it worked out great. Unlike her sport chair, this one doesn’t have a front guard. It does have a foot rest, however, so that worked out fine for “kicking” around a ball.
Speaking of kicking around, this week they had a giant inflatable soccer ball. I think Namine was able to control its movement a little better than a regular sized soccer ball.