There’s a new sporting rink at Michigan State University that students are getting excited about.
Over the summer, university officials renovated the rink inside Demonstration Hall making it more accessible to students with physical disabilities.
“It’s kind of hard to put into words how much it means to us,” says senior, Katie Frayer.
Frayer is one of the founding members of the adaptive sports and recreation club at MSU.
She says for nearly 4 years, the group had volunteers help them lug around equipment to different spaces around campus for both practices and games.
“Dragging nets across campus, dragging bags of hockey sticks, rugby equipment, all these different sporting equipments to have to pull that across campus was a huge hassle,” says Frayer.
But this year, that’s changing.
The group helped university officials create a rink more accessible to students with physical disabilities.
For players like Piotr Pasnik, it was an opportunity he says the team couldn’t pass up.
“People do everything according to the letter of the law as they should but then the users come in and it doesn’t turn out to be super practical.. well I think this does an amazing job at hitting both,” says Piotr Pasik.
There are also wheelchair accessible bathrooms and a storage location for the adaptive sports team.
Plus, fans in wheelchairs now have the opportunity to watch through glass as their team scores.
A space these students say will change the way adaptive sports are played at MSU for years to come.
“This could be a recruitment feature for students with disabilities,” says Frayer.
“We can set the pace and we can be a model of inclusion for other higher education institutions,” says Pasik.
Players say the rink is the only permanent standing wheelchair hockey floor in the world.
The team’s goal is to give students with physical disabilities a place they can have an opportunity unlike any other.
For more on adaptive sports at MSU, click here for a link to more information.