Volunteers keep the athletes going for Denver Parks & Rec's adaptive sports program

DENVER -- Some drive boats, others follow along on bikes.

No matter what the volunteers who help make Denver Parks and Recreation’s Adaptive Sports programs at Sloans Lake are doing, Devin Butler has the same name for them.

“I call them all my 'adorable two-leggers' because I have them carry things for me,” he said.

Recreational therapist Melissa Root says the volunteers are especially important to the water skiing program.

“All of the boat drivers out here volunteer their time, their boat, their gas,” she explained. “We could not do this without the help of the volunteers.”

Besides driving boats, the volunteers also act as “jumpers” who get in the water when water skiers and wakeboarders crash.

“The volunteers make sure they don’t drown,” Butler said. “They are very good at that we’ve never had anyone drown.”

“They help us out if they get stuck, and of course, some disabilities are worse than others,” he added.

Bruce Barnstable is volunteering as bike-buddy for the second year in the row.  He has a sister who has special needs.

“Last year I was a senior in high school so I was looking for some service hours and I like biking so I decided to help out with the adaptive recreation biking [program],” he said before adding that adaptive sports allow people of all abilities to participate.

“It’s almost as if they don’t have the same disabilities,” Barnstable added. “We’re all biking around we’re all swimming around. We’re all having fun, that’s the important part.”

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