Sept. 18-20, 2015
BOND, Colo. -- The Denver women's tennis team traveled to Rancho Del Rio in Bond, Colorado this past weekend to volunteer their time helping run The Adventure Team Challenge from World T.E.A.M Sports. The weekend-long event brings teams together with groups of athletes with disabilities, many of whom are both current and former military members.
Camping out for two nights in the wilderness of the beautiful Rocky Mountains, the Pioneers enjoyed an unforgettable experience, as some of the most inspirational athletes in the country endured a challenging course of rafting, hiking, mountain biking, climbing, and other exciting outdoor activities.
Below are some comments from the team following this incredible weekend:
This past weekend was a great experience. Being able to meet new people that are so inspiring, was truly great. It was amazing to see how all of us as volunteers made this happen for all those amazing athletes, because they truly deserve it! A huge shout-out to those who did the organization, because it wouldn't have been possible without them. I can honestly say I've learned a lot from these past days. I’m truly lucky I got to witness such a great group of people work together, not only in the team challenges, but everything outside of that as well.
My weekend spent volunteering at the World T.E.A.M. Sports event at Rancho del Rio Colorado was one of the most meaningful experiences I've had in my lifetime. I learned a lot about the lives of disabled athletes and watched people come together as a team to complete insanely difficult tasks. Overall, my time helping out with adventure racing gave me a lot of perspective for life, as well as new interests and new friends.
I thought this weekend was an amazing opportunity to meet people we otherwise would never have met. I saw some truly inspirational things that make me thankful every day for what I have! Camping and having no service made me appreciate nature much more and also acknowledge how hard it must be for people in the army who are out in Iraq and Syria and can’t contact loved ones for months; for us it was merely two days. I wouldn’t say I enjoyed camping, but I’m really glad I volunteered because it’s something I will remember forever!
We spent the weekend camping and volunteering for the World Team Sports event held in Eagle Colorado, with no service for 48 hours. This was my first camping experience and the first time I got to see an Adventure race happen with all sorts of athletes (marines, veterans, and disabled athletes). This experience was truly amazing! One message that stood out to me came from one of the amputee athletes on the winning team. In the end, his group was asked to share what made them successful and he explained how working as a team was a big factor, but mostly how he didn't see the course or the teams disabilities as obstacles, and how the biggest challenge and obstacle was right in front of the mirror. To me, it meant that the only thing that keeps you from achieving greatness is yourself and until you push past your fears/ weaknesses you won't be able to reach your full potential. That is something I found really inspiring because while I watched bits of the race, I realized that the disabled athletes were just as able as their teammates to complete the course, and I realized that there are worst things in life then minor sports injuries. These athletes have gone through a lot, lost limbs, themselves, etc...and that hasn't held them back from achieving greatness.
This experience was incredible. The athletes were inspiring and all the participants are amazing for finishing the race. I thought the trip was an experience that proved nothing is impossible. The paraplegics and amputees are proof that humans are capable of overcoming harsh tribulations. It puts life into perspective. How hard could training be compared to what these athletes have gone through in order to walk or run or life again?
Volunteering at the Adventure Team Challenge was an amazing experience. We got to see people who face physical challenges, push themselves in ways that most able-bodied people would struggle to do or might not even attempt to do. The attitudes, perseverance, and overall excitement out of all of the competitors over the entire weekend was amazing and inspiring to see as an athlete myself. The atmosphere out there was truly exceptional and I was glad to be a part of it.
This weekend was a great experience. I thought staying away from our phones for two days allowed our team to bond all weekend. It was also amazing to see the beautiful landscape around and I was amazed with the athletes and how they worked together as a team.
Last weekend was an amazing experience. All the athletes were such inspirations especially as we are headed into a new year. Some of the stories I heard and the people I met were unforgettable. I would love to participate in this event in upcoming years!
A major thank you goes out to both Adventure Team Challenge Coordinator Patti Haley and World T.E.A.M Sports President Van Brinson for inviting us to help and be a part of such a wonderful and important event!
Click HERE to see closing remarks from Evy Van Genechten and Charlotte Derbyshire as they thank everyone at the end of the Adventure Team Challenge from World T.E.A.M. Sports.
To see more photos from the team's volunteer trip, visit our Facebook page.