Coastal Adaptive Sports has a fantastic mission that focuses on coordinating sports opportunities and facilitating recreational activities to add value to the lives of individuals who have disabilities. Coastal Adaptive Sports orchestrates approximately 100 events annually that range from adaptive surfing to wheelchair basketball and beyond!
Coastal Adaptive Sports is a collective of people that contributes to continuously expanding access to recreational opportunities for those with disabilities. In their midst, is the one and only Jesse Lind.
A Brief Overview of Jesse Lind
Jesse Lind hails from New York. He began participating in wheelchair basketball with a team in Wilmington, North Carolina after relocating to the southeast. After moving further south to the Palmetto State, Jesse became an integral part of Coastal Adaptive Sports. He currently serves as the Director of Wheelchair Basketball, and has been involved in Coastal Adaptive Sports for approximately five years.
There are a few compelling points about Lind's journey. He advocates for simply showing up. Jesse observed a lot of competitive wheelchair basketball before taking to the court himself. If you are interested in an adaptive sport, but feeling a bit nervous, he suggests becoming a fan first. From fan to Director, Lind has learned critical lessons about the importance of advocating for opportunities in adaptive sports and the significance of balancing different needs, abilities, and desires.
The Right Balance is Key in Competitive Sports
The Coastal Chairmen are evolving in order to strike a balance between accessible events that foster camaraderie and competitive sports for adults, that push athletes beyond perceived limits.
Finding the opportunity to participate in pickup games as individuals get older can be quite difficult, and to find a community of people that can relate to that improves the quality of many lives.
As such, Lind does “want to bring in new players that have never played and give them that experience, but at the same time,... win.” He is pleased to note that there are a lot of team members that are interested in growing the game.
Focusing on What Is Possible
Lind notes that a life-altering event may change one’s life trajectory without necessarily defining the individual. He believes it is best to “dwell on what is possible and what individuals can do more than what one can’t.” This optimism fuels Lind’s desire to introduce competitive sports for adults with disabilities to a younger generation. If they are passionate about it, then they can take the reins one day.
Jesse was introduced to the sport by a Veterans Affairs therapist. The therapist asked if he ever heard about the National Veterans Wheelchair Games. Jesse promptly replied that he hadn’t, the therapist commented that he would enjoy the games if took a leap of faith, and this social interaction sparked his interest and began his journey.
The Coastal Chairmen
Lind’s team is composed of ten men who range from 16-60 years old! During the 2022-2023 season, they went 17-3 in their conference and ended the season ranked number one in the Carolina Wheelchair Basketball Conference.
The Chairmen take great pride in the program’s steady progress. Having improved their record from 13-8 the prior year, their 17-3 season took them to the Carolina Wheelchair Basketball Conference Championship and secured them an invite to Nationals, hosted by the National Wheelchair Basketball Association.
Plans for the Next Season
Lind understands that there are varying levels of commitment. With a year-round, weekly practice, the Chairmen maintain fitness while accommodating all interest levels. Some folks may want to stop by every week and practice, but may not be able to commit to weekend games on the road. Additionally, Lind and the team welcome friends, family, and community members with full mobility to borrow chairs and join the weekly pick-up game.
As in past seasons, the future will be about access and inclusion. Lind looks to gain a few more competitive players, continue providing weekly access to a heart-pumping game of basketball, and inspire community members to become roaring, devoted fans of the Chairmen. Keep in mind that supporting this program can be something as simple as liking and sharing a post on social media. Last but not least, like any other competitor and sports fan, Jesse wants the Chairmen to claim the championship too!
The Coastal Adaptive Sports Village
Every member of Coastal Adaptive Sports would love to introduce the wheelchair basketball program and other competitive sports for adults with disabilities, to anyone who needs it. Individuals along the Grand Strand seeking to improve their quality of life through fitness and fellowship will find an opportunity here. Coastal Adaptive Sports helps athletes stay active while building a social network. Check out our sports and activities today!