Members of the 2015 U.S. Disabled Water Ski Team visited kids at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California. The team is in Sacramento to compete in the 2015 Disabled Water Ski World Championships Sept. 24-27 at Shoreline Lake in Elk Grove. Among the team members coming to inspire the kids was Connor Auilar-Pogetto, a former Shriners Hospital patient who competes in the seated men’s division.
Also in attendance were water skiers Nate Smith and Brian Detrick, who are ranked #1 and #4 in the world respectively.
The U.S. Disabled Water Ski Team has won the world team gold medal seven times, and seven of the U.S. team members have won individual medals in the competition. The water ski championships include three events – slalom, tricks and jumping. The athletes are grouped into three categories within each event:
- Seated (paraplegic and quadriplegic athletes);
- Standing (athletes with arm and/or leg disabilities)
- Vision impaired (vision-impaired athletes).
Many thanks to the Therapeutic Recreation & Child Life team for welcoming these special guests. Structured and unstructured activities take place in the hospital’s Central Activity Area each day. Therapeutic Recreation and Child Life specialists supervise activities that include everything from cards and video games to special performances by the Sacramento Ballet. Patients have an opportunity to benefit in an Art for Life program each month.