DeKalb County Is Birthplace of Adapted Sports
The American Association of Adapted Sports Programs (AAASP) got its beginnings when DeKalb County Schools’ educators put together a volunteer-operated after-school adapted sports program for students with disabilities in 1980.
As the program grew in DeKalb County over the next 10 years the need for a full-time coordinator became apparent. The program modified adult disability sport rules in order to accommodate student athletes while introducing policies to put an emphasis on academic standards. A curriculum was adopted for training and certifying adapted sports coaches.
Najee Smothers holds the 2015 AAASP Basketball State Championship Trophy.
The AAASP was founded as nonprofit 501(c)3 organization with five program sites in Georgia and grew to 11 in 1997 with sports programs including wheelchair basketball, indoor wheelchair soccer and track and field. Beep baseball for sight impaired athletes was added in 2000 and in 2001 the AAASP and the Georgia High School Association formed an alliance that resulted in Georgia’s recognition of AAASP as the official sanctioning and governing body for the state’s interscholastic adapted athletics.
The Florida High School Athletic Association joined AAASP membership in 2009 adding wheelchair track and field events to its State Championship Series for students with physical disabilities. The Kentucky High School Athletic Association joined AAASP in 2011 also providing opportunities for students with physical disabilities in wheelchair track and field events.
DeKalb entries have won five state championships over the years including four in Wheelchair Basketball and one in Indoor Wheelchair Soccer. State runner-up finishes include two in basketball and four in soccer.
DEKALB AAASP STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
DeKalb Red Hot Rollers (1) – 1997
DeKalb Eagles (2) – 2006, 2009
DeKalb Silver Streaks (1) – 2015
INDOOR WHEELCHAIR SOCCER
DeKalb Red Hot Rollers (1) – 1996