The Fourth Annual Angel City Games return to UCLA on June 21-24. The event continues to galvanize adaptive sports and those who participate in them.
Participants can learn how to compete in basketball, track and field, tennis, archery, and other sports. The Angel City games also provide resources to help people of diverse abilities.
“It can be a beacon for people with physical disabilities that don’t know anything about sports, that didn’t know that they can be physically active and live a healthy life,” said Clayton Frech, founder of the Angel City Games. “As we grow the awareness, we’re then able to bring in new people, help them along their journey.”
Along with the clinics and tournaments, events during the Angel City Games include an Awards Gala, a Parade of the athletes, a Family Cookout and a Celebrity Wheelchair basketball game.
Paralympic athletes have been attending the Angel City Games to not only mentor participants but to compete, creating an opportunity for fans to interact and take lessons from athletes they look up to.
Track and field world record holder Blake Leeper attended Angel City Games last year to compete against other athletes including Frech’s son, Ezra.
“We have a bunch of Paralympic swimmers that are coming this year that are going to coach and then compete,” Frech said. “Right now is an amazing time to join. You’re gonna meet the most elite people in their sport and then potentially line up against them.”
The Angel City Games had several supporters and sponsors, including the U.S. Paralympics, SnapChat and Shamrock Capital. USA Track and Field also provides officials for competitions.
The LA84 Foundation also backs the registration fees for all athletes under the age of 17 who reside in Southern California. The Department of Veteran Affairs and Adaptive Sports USA allow athletes who are veterans to register for free.
“We really work hard to create an environment that’s very welcoming and supportive, still competitive,” Frech said. “But it’s a place where you’re gonna feel a lot of love and support and encouragement to continue your journey.”
Athletes throughout California and beyond have attended the Angel City Games. Last year, over 200 athletes took part of the clinics and competitions.
As the four-day event promotes physical activity, it also allows athletes access to various organizations and to fellowship with other communities.
Athletes of various physical impairments and of all ages attend the Angel City Games where they are extoled for their efforts.
“We can help kids reframe how they think about themselves,” Frech said. “How amazing is it that we all define ourselves by our passion, by our strengths, by our interests and not by our difference.”
For more information about the Angel City Games, please go to http://www.angelcitygames.org/Athlete-Registration-and-Tickets.