The Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative, known as the BAWSI Rollers program, is a wheelchair sports and fitness program for third through sixth graders and was created for children with physical disabilities. Participants get to experience a variety of adapted sports, be part of a team, and learn life lessons with the help of their volunteer coaches, who also serve as positive and engaged role models. The BAWSI Rollers program provides fun, adaptive, and athletic activities for boys and girls with physical, cognitive and hearing disabilities. The curriculum helps participants develop hand-eye coordination, strength, confidence and a lasting sense of independence.
This is Vargas’ fourth year (2015-present) with the BAWSI Rollers Program. All Special Day Classes (SDC) at the school participate one day a week for eight weeks in the fall as well as eight weeks in the spring. All SDC students ages 5-12 are eligible and invited to participate.
Female athletes from local universities, colleges, and high schools serve as volunteer coaches for the BAWSI programs. Weekly sessions include activities focused on goal setting, teamwork, and healthy conversations about self-respect, responsibility and leadership. Each BAWSI Roller participant receives a complimentary t-shirt, representing their team jersey.
Teachers at Vargas have said, “BAWSI is important for my students because it provides them the opportunity to participate in physical education activities that are adapted to meet their needs. BAWSI allows my kids to socialize with other peers and BAWSI coaches that are viewed as role models for my students!”
Article written by SSD Health and Wellness Programs Liaison Pam Murdock.