VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Tour de Cure to benefit the American Diabetes Association. While I was there, I saw a man pulling a chair and rider along behind him. Turns out, it was Robb Cass and he was doing an inclusion ride with Ainsley’s Angels.
Ainsley’s Angels focuses on inclusion rides and runs for the special needs community. Their volunteers participate in endurance events like 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, marathons, and even triathlons. The riders tend to face all sorts of different challenges such as cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome and sina bifida. So, these edurance events are a goal they could not acheive on their own.
Ainsley was a little girl with a rare disorder and her father, Kim Rossiter, learned about inclusion racing. He found that Ainsley was transformed by it, it became therapeutic for his family and it brought them so much joy. That’s how Ainsley’s Angels of America began in 2011.
The group is in 25 states and 50 cities right now. The Hampton Roads chapter started in 2015 and is going strong. They have about 60 rider athletes, about 160 runners and cyclists and approximately 25 guardian angels. They particiate in events like the Tour de Cure, of course, the CHKD 8k, the Rock n Roll half marathon, the Marine Corp marathon and more.
Ainsley’s Angels brings endurance events into the lives of those who, normally, could not participate, they try to build awareness about the special needs community through inclusion not just in endurance events, but in life. Their slogan is “Together, we shall”… and they do.