2018 World T.E.A.M. Annual Review 2018 World T.E.A.M. Annual Review - Page 23

Propelling a sea kayak takes coordination and cooperation. One athlete paddles, while the other pedals with their feet, as if riding a bike. The paddles have blades on either side, and so forward progress is determined by paddling both sides equally. Together, the athletes battle changing wind and currents, along with an occasional wake from a passing vessel. At World T.E.A.M.’s Coastal Team Challenge, adaptive and able-bodied athletes joined together for a journey along the southern coast of New York’s Long Island. At 12 feet in length, the kayaks seem small in comparison to the vast Atlantic Ocean stretching to the horizon. With motorized safety craft following alongside the teams for any unexpected emergency, the athletes must be in good physical shape to make progress. Challenge partner Independent Group Home Living Program, a New York non- profit that provides programs, services, and support for individuals with intellectual disabilities, identifies and selects the adaptive athletes from an expanding pool of candidates. Although a majority of these athletes are young TEAM > INDIVIDUAL adults, older athletes are occasionally selected for the challenging sea journey in two days. Many have never participated in water sports in the past. the beach, a campfire with music and entertainment, and a restful overnight camp provided a memorable conclusion to the day. Long Island’s TimeCapital Investor Advisory Services and American Portfolios Financial Services partner in the Challenge with World T.E.A.M, working together to invite and encourage able-bodied athletes to serve as coaches for their companion athletes, as well as help with the paddling and navigation duties. Many of these athletes are alumni from the non- profit’s other sporting programs such as Face of America Gettysburg. The following morning, calm, sunny weather provided a welcome change in water conditions. Boarding the kayaks, teams paddled for several hours, covering about eight nautical miles, to safely reach the East Moriches finish. On shore, the athletes joined program staff and volunteers, family members, and colleagues for a festive ending dinner and celebration of their accomplishment. In an ending ceremony, each participant was presented a medal for their athletic achievement. Their efforts in working together as supportive teams was inspirational for all participants. For the August 2018 edition of the Challenge, 32 athletes met in the warm morning sun at the Patchogue Beach Club in Patchogue, New York for an opening breakfast. Following the meal, athletes and volunteers headed for the nearby beach, where kayaks were unpacked and waiting on the sand for departure. Unfortunately, intermittent poor weather and brisk, variable winds created a long delay. By afternoon, teams were transported by ground to the overnight camp at Smith Point County Park. A satisfying dinner on Financial support of the Challenge was provided by TimeCapital Investor Advisory Services and American Portfolios Financial Services. Each company also enlisted enthusiastic volunteers, who manage the many components of the program and are critical for its success. 15