JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. -- We all want to feel included and part of a team – especially when we are kids in school. 7Everyday Hero Bryan Wickoren makes sure every student gets that opportunity. He leads the Adapted Athletics program for Jefferson County Schools.
"We're trying to provide the same opportunity as the gen-ed students get – extracurricular activities. It's for middle school and high school students. So, it could be soccer in the fall. We do that. It could be basketball in the winter. We do that too. Today we're doing our track meet," said Wickoren.
Three-hundred students from 26 Jeffco middle and high schools go to the Jeffco Stadium for a fun day of track events.
"They don't really care about the score. They care about being a part of the team, working together and having that opportunity to play. We really focus on their ability and not their disability," said Wickoren.
Wickoren started volunteering for the program years ago, and under his guidance it has really taken off.
There are now adapted athletic events year-round.
"We start in August with cross country, and we do floor hockey, we do volleyball, we do softball, we do track and field, we do basketball. We do bowling also," said Wickoren.
"He has built this up to pretty much every school now participates. He's just phenomenal," said Ralston Valley High School teacher Lori Shuman.
The students taking part in the events are even more excited.
"I like the jumping pit, said Kate Julian, student athlete.
The Jeffco Adapted Athletics program is a model for the state.
In fact Wickoren would love to see it go state-wide. He believes every student deserves a chance to be a part of the team.
"Everyone is capable of doing something. It is just finding their ability that they can do and be successful at," said Wickoren.
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