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Scoring big: Appleton's adapted sports league changing lives and building community

Fox Valley Adapted Sports League
Posted at 5:26 PM, Oct 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-23 18:26:05-04
  • Appleton schools adapted sports league has come a long way since its announcement in the summer.
  • Coaches tell us the league promotes community building, and that for many players, it’s the first time they’ve participated in an organized sport.
  • Video shows the players, fans, parents, and everyone else involved enjoying the game.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

When Appleton schools announced the adapted sports league in the summer they were still looking for a lot more players and a lot more peer helpers. But a lot has changed since then. I’m Olivia Acree, your Appleton neighborhood reporter, showing you just how much the program has grown and why the community loves it.

“Oh, nice one Lily,” said paraprofessional Amy Flom. “This is the best thing that's ever happened to special ed.”

What Appleton north paraprofessional, Amy Flom, called the best thing to happen to special ed is the adapted sports league.

“Way to go,” said Flom.

New this fall, the league offers indoor sports for students with certain disabilities.

Travis Rebman coaches Appleton East’s league. With 12 players on his team, East has one of the largest in the league.

“Support between the students, the staff, the players, everything has been amazing,” said Rebman.

He says one of the most important aspects of the program is the community building that comes with it.

“A lot of times this is the first time these kids have played a sport in middle school high school. So, it's been a great opportunity for these families,” said Rebman.

Families like Timothy and JP Poremba.

“My son, JP, he gets to ride the bus here ride the bus home. He has a uniform. All those things that make him like a regular kid,” said Timothy Poremba.

And the game time environment is like any other sporting event.

Junior east player, Javon VandenHogen, loves being part of a team.

“Getting everybody pumped up, telling them they’re going to do good, hopefully win the game,” said VandenHogen.

Proving that the community building they hoped for when starting the program is just what they’re getting.

Fall soccer just wrapped up but floor hockey starts in the winter, and wiffle ball in the spring.