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Oshkosh Area School District’s Adapted Sports League holds first game

Published: Feb. 17, 2021 at 4:27 PM CST
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - A new sports league with the Oshkosh Area School District held its first game today. The goal is to make sure every student has a shot at participating in school athletics.

Oshkosh North and Oshkosh West students faced off in an indoor soccer game

Marking the first official game for student athletes in the district’s Adapted Sports League.

“Oh my gosh, I was like really speechless, I was really excited,” said Izzy Jolin, a player for Oshkosh North.

“We like to play every day,” said Ryan Moon, an Oshkosh West player.

Giving opportunities to play is exactly what the Adapted League is shooting for.

“This was awesome, I mean this is what you’re looking for,” said Adapted League Coordinator Korey Kleinhans.

Kleinhans says this program has been three years in the making. The league is for students with disabilities, to ensure they have the same chance to participate in school sports as anyone else.

“This is part of building options for the high school students,” said Kleinhans. “Of course, there’s other programs out there, but just being able to be physically active after school, to gain sportsmanship and just build that camaraderie around the high school is really what we’re trying to build here.”

Field borders could be moved, allowing players in wheelchairs to move easily on and off and the soccer ball had red tape wrapped around it so players with visual impairments could better keep track.

Players are already looking forward to future matches.

“I just love doing the sport, I mean I get to see all my friends again and it’s just been really sweet to see them,” said Jolin.

Kleinhans is glad to see the ball rolling.

“That’s exactly how I pictured it and they did awesome, they did a really good job today, I’m proud of them,” said Kleinhans.

But to him, it’s only the kickoff to what all he hopes the league will grow into.

“I mean this is just like the type of program that we want here,” said Kleinhans. “I think we need to change the idea of students with disabilities and realize they can participate in sports and realize they are capable of many, many things.”

The league hopes to host a summer camp and plans to offer other types of sports throughout the year.

Kleinhans hopes in the long-term to see other school districts in the Fox Valley join the league.

If anyone is interested in learning more or donating to the program, email Kleinhans at korey.kleinhans@oshkosh.k12.wi.us.

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