Selena Ponio | April 14, 2017
Members of the Notre Dame community will head to the Bookstore Courts this Sunday at noon to play basketball with a twist — they will all be playing in wheelchairs.
Ryan Hall is hosting the sixth annual Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, their signature event benefitting Whirlwind Wheelchair International, an organization that provides wheelchairs to those who need them but cannot afford them. Senior Christina Fernandez, last year’s president of Ryan Hall, said she has been involved in planning wheelchair basketball since her freshman year.
“ … Mr. and Mrs. Ryan have a son named Corbett, who went to Notre Dame but had a disability,” Fernandez said. “The reason they built Ryan Hall was because they wanted to make a handicap-accessible dorm.”
The fact that Ryan Hall is a handicap-accessible dorm is something their community is proud of, Fernandez said, and there was a lot of intentionality with how Ryan was built — from the type of carpet chosen to the wheelchair ramp going up to the altar in the dorm’s chapel.
Caitlyn Clinton, freshman and incoming Ryan Hall president for the 2017-2018 academic year, said this event has been a huge success in the past.
“It’s a great way to be competitive, but still give back to the community and give back to those who cannot afford something they need,” Clinton said.
This year will be Clinton’s first year playing in the tournament, and she said she encourages everyone to participate, regardless of athletic ability.