Trailer theft hurts disabled athletes

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: December 21 2013 | 3:17 pm - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 1:09 am in
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I recently shared my admiration of an organization in Eastern Iowa called Sportability, which helps disabled athletes participate in sports. Now I would like to express my dismay and distaste to a crime that was committed against that organization.

Sportability had parked a white trailer at the Stoney Point YMCA, and it was stolen during the night of Dec. 13. It was filled with sports wheelchairs and other equipment needed for our athletes to play in different kinds of sports. Thankfully we have found the trailer, but the more important objects, the sports equipment, were missing.

Playing these sports with Sportability is, for many of our athletes, the only physical activity they feel free to fully participate in. It is also the only place where they may feel comfortable being themselves and also the only place they might find individuals like themselves — that is, with physical disabilities. It is truly a shame that someone would take that happiness and healthy activity from disabled children and adults.

Although this kind of equipment may cost up to $5,000 for Sportability to purchase, it would be impossible for anyone to sell the items after stealing them, which only makes this crime all the more senseless. It only means that it will be that much more difficult for Sportabiility to continue to help disabled people.

If you have any information or would like to help Sportability recover from this serious setback, please visit

Travis Vance



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