Last Week, Trooper Johnson, the Youth Sports Program Coordinator, and a half dozen kids from BORP, the Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program, headed over to Berkeley Ironworks. BORP is the leading provider and promoter of accessible sports and recreation opportunities for children and adults with physical disabilities in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Using ascenders, strong upper bodies, and some technique, the kids had the opportunity to climb for the very first time.
“The one thing that stood out was when each kid got on the rope and started ascending, his/her teammates started cheering for them,” said Johnson about the day of climbing. “There was so much encouragement and energy for each other that it made it great to see how much each kid has grown to care for each other and see the value in the success of someone else. That was amazing.”
Trooper Johnson was paralyzed in a car accident when he was 17 years old as a result of drinking and driving. Since then, he has been a member of the United States National wheelchair basketball team for 15 years, competing in four Paralympic Games. More notable in the climbing community, Trooper was the 2nd paraplegic to climb El Capitan in Yosemite Valley, CA. He has been working with the BORP for the past few years, helping out with the youth programs.
Past blog entries can be found at http://touchstoneclimbing.blogspot.com/