The Ability Experience’s “Journey of Hope” cross-country bike riding team will return to the North Suburban YMCA on July 26 for an evening of inclusive football-based fun.
In its 30th year, the annual Journey of Hope cross-country ride is designed to bring awareness to The Ability Experience, a national philanthropic organization that strives to break down the barriers that keep people with disabilities from living life to the fullest. The ride is completed by members of Pi Kappa Phi, who travel 4,000 miles together from the West Coast to Washington, D.C.
The Y will also partner with the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association (GLASA) and North Shore Youth Football to give children the opportunity to run football drills while experiencing the challenges of wheelchairs. Demonstrations and the Northwestern University Football “meet and greet” will begin at 6:30 pm at the Y, located at 2705 Techny Road in Northbrook.
Immediately following, GLASA wheelchair participants and Journey of Hope cyclers will face off in a friendly, high-energy “Wheels vs. Wheels” wheelchair football game. Prior to the events, the NSYMCA, GLASA and Journey of Hope will enjoy a casual reception where all food and drinks are donated by Noodles & Company and Home Depot.
The football events are free and open to all children and families. Guests are encouraged to come dressed in their favorite football team jersey or uniform. The activities that evening will enable all persons, regardless of existing physical challenges, to participate.
The NSYMCA provides high quality, inclusive opportunities in dance, yoga, art, fitness, and aquatics for children with special needs so they can learn, play, and interact with their peers within the context of the YMCA community. Children in the programs learn confidence, responsibility, and social skills while making new friends and developing important character traits in a supportive, nurturing environment under the guidance of highly qualified Y staff.
“We’re thrilled to partner with two disabilities organizations, Journey of Hope and GLASA, for this unique event. Having Journey of Hope come home to the Y again is an honor. The cyclists bring so much enthusiasm and positive energy to the community, and the kids feel encouraged to try new things,” said Kim Nyren, NSYMCA Development Manager.