Adaptive Adventures enables sports opportunities

April 19, 2012 10:21:01 AM PDT
Twelve years ago, an adaptive adventure organization for people with physical disabilities launched a campaign promoting outdoor sports.

Over the past year, they have teamed up with a production company to create a documentary that not only features people with physical disabilities but also well-known entertainers.

From the top of the mountains to the ground floor, we learn about the challenges five athletes with disabilities face.

"The Movement" has proven that adaptive sports is a way to regain a sense of freedom.

Robert Redford narrates this film, while U2, The Foo Fighters and KD Lang provide the music.

"I was fortunate enough to meet Kurt Miller, who's Warren Miller's son... People who are familiar with Warren Miller's films, he's always had small parts for people with disabilities in them... Kurt decided rather than having a little piece in a big film about people with a disability that he was going to do an entire documentary film called 'The Movement' on adaptive skiing," said Joel Berman, co-founder of Adaptive Adventures, a not-for-profit outdoor adventures organization.

"Adventure sports you might say in the summer we do a lot of cycling and kayaking, water skiing and wakeboarding, rafting in the winter. We do a lot of Alpine skiing and snowboarding, cross country skiing," said Berman. "There's a lot of specialized equipment and specialized instruction involved."

For example, they partnered with Kayak Chicago.

"Kayak Chicago is offering kayaking opportunities all the time in the area. Where Adaptive Adventures comes in is, we help to purchase and provide some of the specialized equipment that's needed," said Berman.

Paul Moran is a Paralympian athlete who enjoys many different sports. Adaptive Adventures has given him options.

"I think they do great work. I had the time of my life when I did a couple of ski events with them," said Moran.

Having a documentary like "The Movement" is a great tool to educate people with and without disabilities about the benefits of adaptive adventures.

"Certainly the message of the movie is that, never say never," said Berman.

Early this year, "The Movement" premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. It will be shown at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie Thursday at 7 p.m. The filmmaker and athletes featured in the film will be on hand.

There will also be an all-abilities sport equipment expo from 5-7 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for youth under 17.

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