Angel City Sports
ACS focuses on the training and development of athletes of all abilities and skill levels. Major programs include year-round clinics for adaptive athletes and The Angel City Games with seven sports - wheelchair tennis, wheelchair basketball, archery, swimming, track and field, sitting volleyball and table tennis. The ultimate goal is to empower physically disabled individuals living to cultivate a healthy and independent lifestyle through the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of physical activity.
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
County of Los Angeles
In what stage of innovation is this project?
Expand existing program
What is the need you’re responding to?
According to the CDC, over 23% of Californians 18+ years old are living with a physical disability. CDC researchers have found that 47% of those with disabilities get no aerobic physical activity. The significant number of individuals with disabilities who are inactive is particularly alarming, researchers said, because they found this group is 50% more likely to report having a chronic condition like cancer, diabetes, stroke, or heart disease.
Adaptive sports are essential for differently-abled individuals’ overall health. Without such activity, individuals are at higher risk for physical and mental health problems, such as obesity, heart disease, and depression. Physical activity is especially important for special needs children as it can help boost self-confidence and self-worth. It can also improve skills in relationship building and working as part of a team. These skills and tools help youth build the foundation for healthy, productive and successful lives as adults.
Why is this project important to the work of your organization?
ACS’ CEO’s, Clayton Frech’s, son, Ezra, was born with congenital limb differences. Growing up, Ezra developed into a competitive athlete and is currently a U.S. Paralympics track and field athlete. In addition, Ezra serves as a motivational speaker and ambassador for adaptive sports. Angel City Sports began in June 2013 when Clayton and Ezra Frech were on the track at the Endeavor Games wondering why there were not more adaptive programs in Southern California. In October 2014, the ACS Games found a facility and programming partner in UCLA Recreation. Today, ACS has leveraged the relationships and partnerships Clayton and Ezra have developed with organizations that serve the adaptive sports community and is leading a growing network of resources and opportunities to support this underserved population.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?
Direct Impact: 3,000
Indirect Impact: 18,000
Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.
In 2019, the Games drew 425 athletes and 600+ volunteers for a total of 4,200+ total attendees. ACS anticipates these numbers will continue to grow for the June 2021 event. Typically, ACS adaptive sports clinics draw over 600 adult and youth participants throughout the year. The addition of the VR activities is unprecedented for ACS and it is challenging to predict the numbers that will be served.
Staying active is for disabled individuals is important under normal circumstances. During the COVID-19 shelter-in-place restrictions and mandates, remaining active is critical as it lifts mood; helps people sleep and manage stress better, manage weight, and; works to boost overall immunity.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
The goal of ACS is to ensure physically disabled individuals of all ages and abilities have access to activities that support their physical, mental, and emotional health.
The effectiveness, outcomes and impact of ACS’ programs are evaluated on a regular basis through post-activity surveys of various stakeholders, including athletes, volunteers, coaches, and other stakeholders. Information tracked includes quantitative and qualitative metrics that provide valuable insight as to how effectively the clinics are meeting the needs of physically disabled adult and youth athletes to enhance the organization’s current offerings as well as gain information about unmet needs to guide ACS’ expansion efforts. The primary quantitative metric will be how many adults and youth attended and will be tracked by signed participation waivers.
Qualitatively, the key criteria for success is that adults and youth feel positive about the overall experience – that they feel accomplished, confident, and motivated to repeat that feeling again and again. Having coaches and staff that create this positive experience, as well as serve as role models themselves as many are athletes with disabilities, is essential to building this success.
Which of the PLAY metrics will your submission impact?
Youth sports participation
Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?
LA is the best place to CONNECT
Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?
Access to the LA2050 community
Host public events or gatherings
Capacity, including staff
Strategy assistance and implementation