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DASA helping disabled athletes virtually while coronavirus cancels events

These athletes never give up and now even during this pandemic, they don't have to

ST. LOUIS — It's one of life's truths. Disability does not mean inability.

It's something non-profit Disabled Athletes Sports Association, or DASA, preaches every day to their kids and adults.

"Those with Muscular Dystrophy, Spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, amputees," Kelly Behlmann of DASA explained.

Whether it's weight training, power soccer or sled hockey, DASA provides opportunity, fitness and competition.

"But it's also therapeutic socially and emotionally," she said. "So they see what their abilities are and they're not being limited by what society might think as broke or their disability."

With competitions and national championships canceled, the shutdown has been a letdown but Kelly Behlmann and her team decided it wouldn't be a knockdown.

So, 7 days a week Kelly and her therapists offer virtual training for all their athletes.

"So we try to do games that incorporate gross motor or motor planning just to keep their athletic skills and their brain skills moving," said Behlmann

And the membership can still count on fellowship.

"We have a dance party every Wednesday night whoever wants to join us, all of our athletes come on, especially the little kids because that's what we do at summer camp. We dance all day long," she said with a laugh.

Because these athletes face physical and medical challenges, they may be among the last to get back to the way it was. But quitting has never been an option. Not for the athletes and not for DASA.

"Just being able to see each other and see each other's smiles," said Behlmann. "It's been really fun to keep that social, family connection."

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