Daemen College has announced the launch of a comprehensive new initiative that aims to provide recreational and competitive athletic opportunities for persons with disabilities. The Daemen College Center for Allied and Unified Sport and Exercise (CAUSE) will help facilitate physical fitness of participants while giving them the opportunity to experience the camaraderie and sportsmanship that comes with athletics participation.
Daemen Athletics, in collaboration with Daemen’s Social Work and Special Education departments, developed CAUSE to address the need for both recreational activities and caregiver support for the disabled community in Western New York. CAUSE is funded with external funds provided by the Buffalo Bills Foundation and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.
Allied and Unified Sport programs, which are developing all across the country, are completely inclusive and provide disabled persons an equal opportunity to participate in recreational and competitive athletics alongside their non-disabled peers. Participants in CAUSE are paired with Daemen students, student-athletes, faculty and coaches to engage in activities that promote sport, exercise, and socialization.
“We are proud to establish the CAUSE program at Daemen, and thank both the Buffalo Bills Foundation and the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo for their generous funding of this endeavor,” said Daemen President Gary A. Olson. “This new initiative will create unique opportunities for our students, faculty, and staff to share their passion for sport and exercise while making a positive impact in the lives of persons with disabilities throughout Western New York.”
Caregivers are required to submit a registration form on the behalf of CAUSE participants prior to their first session. Weekly online registration runs from Monday (9 a.m.) through Friday (3 p.m.).
CAUSE programming is held every Sunday beginning at 2 p.m. and running through 4 p.m. Programming, which is is open to disabled persons of all ages, is housed in the Daemen Academic and Wellness Center located at 4433 Main St., just across the street from Daemen’s main campus in Amherst. A second program runs on Thursday evenings and is focused on providing opportunities for disabled young adults.
The Academic and Wellness Center, which recently underwent a nearly $6 million renovation, includes instructional space, a gymnasium and a fitness center.
In addition to the athletic opportunities provided with programming for CAUSE participants, primary caregivers are invited to enjoy time to themselves, socialize with other caregivers, or have free use of Daemen’s fitness center.
“Daemen Athletics is proud to be involved in Daemen’s CAUSE initiatives, which are set to have a meaningful and long-lasting impact on participants, caregivers, students and student-athletes,” said Director of Athletics Bridget Niland. “CAUSE is just one of many examples of the good work that can be done through combining academics and sports in the community.”
For more information on the Daemen CAUSE program or to register for a Sunday sport session, visit daemen.edu/CAUSE.