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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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WATCH: SDSU Adapted Athletics Making History

SDSU Adapted Athletics continues to provide opportunities for student-athletes with disabilities.
By SDSU News Team

“Being a part of this program means a lot.”

San Diego State University Adapted Athletics is quickly becoming nationally recognized for its success on and off the track and court. 

SDSU is one of only a handful of universities in the nation to provide adapted athletics. The program, which was founded this past spring, offers an opportunity for those who want to pursue a college degree and achieve their athletic goals.

“Because they’re engaging in adapted sports, all of a sudden, there is this overwhelming confidence of ‘Hey, I can do it,’” said Ahkeel Whitehead (’17), program director. “Because they are gaining this confidence, you just see it spill over into other aspects of their lives.”

SDSU Adapted Athletics’ athletes currently train and compete in ambulatory track and field and wheelchair tennis. These include SDSU registered students, alumni and affiliates of the program.

The program aims to one day add women’s and men’s wheelchair basketball teams, aquatic sports and recruit more student-athletes. As a national contender in adapted athletics, SDSU continues preparing its athletes to compete at the Paralympic level.

Recent accomplishments

Michelle Cross, a second-year SDSU student and track and field athlete, competed at the Desert Challenge Games last May in Phoenix, Arizona, where she finished first in her age group in both the 100m and 200m sprint events and earned a personal record for the 100m.

SDSU Adapted Athletics wheelchair tennis competed in the USTA Wheelchair Tennis College National Championships in April 2019. Surpassing all expectations, the team placed second in the nation after defeating teams from Clemson University and Michigan State University.

“The experience playing has changed my life completely,” said Manuel Gomez, a wheelchair tennis player for SDSU Adapted Athletics. “I thought I wasn’t going to be able to play sports or anything like that after my accident. I feel like a part of me came back... Being a part of this program means a lot.” 

To make a gift to the SDSU Adapted Athletics program, visit the SDSU Alumni Crowdfunding website.