WellesleyWeston Magazine

SUMMER 2013

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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and entering an outrigger canoe for the July fundraising regatta on the Charles River. "There are two canoes that are connected to each other, ACCESSPORTAMERICA 119 High Street, Acton MA 01720 866.45.SPORT www.AccesSportAmerica.org and at least one of the team members is disabled," says the Wellesley resident, who is parent to a toddler. "It's a grueling race, up and down the river a few hundred yards, and everyone must pull together as a team. All the while, Ross [Lilley] constantly pushes the athletes to do better." "They have a tremendous staff," Connelly agrees. "They make sure that participants know they can overcome obstacles." In fact, AccesSport started a water program for the Boston Public Schools ten years ago. "We did outrigger canoeing and windsurfing By adapting sports and encouraging those with disabilities to join in endeavors that even during the summer, and we felt there was a agile athletes find challenging, the reputation and renown of AccesSport has only grown. Their great need to continue this during the year," programs are offered in partnership with Boston area rehabilitation hospitals and organizations Lilley says. "Today, we reach about 200 kids such as Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Network, Perkins School for the Blind, The Doug regularly throughout the school year, and our Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism, and the Cotting School. mission is to replicate this program for any school systems that have kids with disabilities." Lilley underscores the fundamental mission of AccesSport: "You and I are supposed to elevate our heart rate at least once a day," he says. "Those with disabilities can be a fairly sedentary population that, at times, don't achieve this once per month, so our goal is to give people a spark and elevate them to a new level of function." Although AccesSport has earned effusive praise from participants, their family members, and the community at large, its founder remains modest. "We're not that good — it's We l l e s l e y We s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 3 something that is bigger than us," Lilley concludes. "There's a mysterious presence in our program that drives people to accomplish more, that surprises even the veterans among us. I'm still surprised every day at what our athletes can do." 160 COURTESY OF ACCESSPORTAMERICA good works "our goal is to give people a spark"

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