BRISTOL--It is billed as the first of its kind in New England, a place where disabled athletes will adapt much better to adaptive sports.
Chapter 126 Sports and Fitness Center has opened its doors in Bristol, and they have raised the bar for thousands of disabled people in the area. Stacy Cardillo, the sports program manager at Chapter 126, said, "Our research showed that over 170,000 people in a 20-mile radius have a disability, so our goal is to get them here."
The gym, a 25,000 square foot facility on Upson Street--which offers specialized equipment, such as zero gravity treadmills and streamlined wheelchair basketball wheelchairs--was built with help from state funds and private and corporate donations.
"It has to do with equal access for everyone," said Barry Simon, the president and CEO of Chapter 126. The name itself stems from Chapter 126 of the U.S. Code, which requires equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities.
On a roll down the newly varished basketball court was Paul Weiland, who plays guard fiercely and is the adaptive sports program manager at Chapter 126. Weiland has Cererbral Palsy and sees the new fitness center as a way for more disabled athletes to bond. "The facility is amazing," he said. "It provides people with physical disabilities the opportunity to train and workout that essentially eliminates barriers."
For more visit the gym's website here.