Danny Scrivano

Named to the 2014 Junior National Table Tennis team and watched by the United States Olympic Committee over the summer, senior Danny Scrivano strives his way to the Paralympic Games for 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.

“My parents didn’t think I was going to play sports at all,” Scrivano said. “And so to see me play a lot of sports and become great at one is a tremendous accomplishment.  It makes me feel so proud that I can do anything I set my mind to.”

He acquired hemiplegia, a form of paralysis that affects one side of the body.  It is caused by brain injuries suffered from a stroke he suffered at two-years-old.  The disability affects Scrivano’s mobility and total use of his right arm. “Danny spent hundreds of hours in physical therapy and doctors offices when he was little,” mother Patti Scrivano said. “Now, it has been years since he has had any type of formal therapy because everyday sports became his therapy.”

At five-year’s old, Scrivano began playing a variety of sports, from baseball to basketball to tackle football. And he mastered playing all of them with only the use of his left arm. “Only being able to use one arm is an obstacle that I’ll always have to overcome, but I’ve taught myself to have the drive to keep going– even sometimes when I don’t want to,” Scrivano said. He earned high ratings to attend a San Diego tournament in December 2013, became nationally recognized as a member on the United States Junior table tennis team, traveled to Romania and Spain in the summer of 2014, and will travel to Costa Rica in December of 2015. Only six kids were picked across the nation for the 2014 Junior National Paralympics table tennis team; Scrivano one of them.

Under the everyday after school training with nationally renowned coaches, Scrivano thrives and reaches new goals, staying mentally strong and focused at practice. “Danny inspires me to go the extra mile and always work for what you want, even if it’s harder to get there,” para coach Angie Bengtssan said. “He has a great work ethic and I see him being successful in anything he will do in the future.” Athletes train rigorously by eating healthy, executing extra workouts and competing in international tournaments, to achieve a high rating in order to qualify and be chosen for the U.S. Paralympic team. “It won’t be an easy task to get in the 2016 Paralympics, but it’s not impossible.  Making it into the 2020 Games in Tokyo is a serious reality,” Scrivano said. 

 

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2.1.2017 Congratulations to John McSween of the Michigan Rolling Pistons, John just signed his letter of intent to attend the University of Illinois and continue his education and further his wheelchair basketball career. John has been part of The Michigan Rolling Pistons wheelchair basketball team for many years, Michigan Rolling Pistons is a co-ed, youth wheelchair basketball team providing opportunities for athletes ages 6-18 with physical disabilities to participate competitively in basketball. The athletes on this team are unable to participate in most local programs or school teams. Adaptive sports programs allow these athletes to experience the same benefits as their able-bodied peers. Our primary purpose is to provide more opportunity for boys and girls with physical disabilities to participate competitively in a sport. Our team motto is “No Limits.” The benefits of youth sports are well known. Through athletics, children gain increased selfconfidence and self-esteem, increased physical fitness and overall wellness. They also learn responsibility, and develop better communication and interpersonal relationships. Our athletes are unable to participate in most local programs or any of their school sports teams. Adaptive sports programs allow for these athletes to experience the same benefits as their able-bodied peers while also getting to meet and learn from others with the same abilities. It can be a difficult road keeping the teams up and running. With general overall health care costs, the additional costs of team sports and special equipment required to play can at times be a financial burden on families. That’s where Athletes Unlimited comes in to help support these teams and keep the programs running and growing throughout Southeast Michigan. Athletes Unlimited is a non-profit organization founded in 1996 by Jeff S. Pierce, DO, dedicated to providing social, recreational and athletic outlets to people with disabilities. Their guiding philosophy that life is not intended to be a spectator sport. Everyone, regardless of ability, can benefit from participating in sports. It continues to be Athletes Unlimited primary goal to provide these opportunities to as many physically challenged individuals as possible. We firmly believe that everyone should know that individuals with disabilities, regardless of their physical limitations, possess the same basic needs and desires as those without disabilities. Together we can strive to eliminate societal barriers that limit an individual’s potential to achieve. Join us in spreading the mission of helping disabled athletes, because life is not meant to be a spectator sport! www.athletesunlimited.com
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