SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Move Along Inc. is providing opportunities for people of all abilities in central New York to play sports and get active. The program, which was founded in 2009, offers adaptive sports for people with disabilities in a safe, inclusive environment.
“It’s so very important for everybody to stay active,” Executive Director Jeff Wright said. “Staying active makes it three times less likely you’re going to end up back in the hospital with a complication.”
Move Along was founded by Greg Callen, who was paralyzed in 2005 after falling from a second-story roof. His journey overcoming his own injury inspired him to help others move forward or “move along” from their challenges.
“There’s over 50 adaptive sports played in the United States,” Wright said. “There has to be something out there that will get you excited again, get the emotional game back under control and move forward.”
After 30 years in engineering and sales, Wright got involved with the program after suffering a severe back injury. It motivated him to start working with people on a personal level.
“Let’s be realistic, depression is going to be part of the game,” Wright said. “According to the Mayo Clinic, 40% of adults who suffer a traumatic injury that leads to a disability opt for suicide, so if I can stop someone from doing that, it’s why I do this.”
Wright said that in the five-county central New York area around 15,000 people, aged, 18-62, have disabilities. That’s why, he said, the programs that Move Along offers are so important in the area.
“There’s hundreds of stories of people overcoming their injuries and getting back to their lives,” Wright said. “And that’s why I do what I do.”
Move Along currently offers programs in basketball, sled hockey, hand-cycling, kayaking and tennis. In addition, it has gained funding to start offering mountain biking next summer.