YORK COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — Transitioning from active duty to civilian life is not always easy. For some, injuries make it all the more difficult. But a family in York County wants to make that transition a little bit easier. That’s why they’re bringing adaptive sports to the area.
This family says their main goal is to have a place where anyone — whether they’re injured or disabled — can go and play sports. More than that, they want to create a community where people can encourage each other, giving some a new purpose in life.
Five years ago, Emily Cain’s husband was injured while fighting in Afghanistan. His skull cracked in 11 places and it wasn’t an easy recovery.
“We just felt very alone,” Emily Cain said.
They found the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program and suddenly were part of a community. Through the program, they learned about adaptive sports and decided it was time to bring that to York County.
“It’s so easy after an injury to be discouraged and feel like you have no purpose and you can’t do things,” said Cain. “But the adaptive sports show that you can do things.”
They’re partnering with the Victory Family YMCA in Yorktown. Every Sunday from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., they have the court reserved for “seated volleyball” — which Cain says is much harder than it looks.
“It looks super easy and then you get out there and you realize it’s hard to not come off the ground,” she said.
The seated volleyball games are open to anyone — injured, disabled, military or not.
“It’s just a weekly fellowship to have recreation and to encourage and support each other,” Cain said. “Because a lot of people, they don’t have a reason to wake up in the morning, and this gives them a reason, a purpose, you know something to look forward to each week.”
They’re hoping the program catches on so they can work to bring more programs to the YMCA, like wheelchair basketball. They’re also hoping the program gives people a new outlook on life.
“Your life is not over, there is hope,” Cain said.
If you’re interested in getting involved or playing seated volleyball, contact the Victory Family YMCA.