Angel City Sports, the leading adaptive and Paralympic sports organization in Southern California, hosted its 2018 Annual Holiday Event at the IMAX Headquarters in Los Angeles.
The event started with the theatrical premiere of Empty Net, a documentary showcasing the 2018 Gold Medal Winning US Paralympic Sled Hockey Team. Throughout the documentary, I honestly forgot that the athletes had physical disabilities. I was completely submerged in their story about hockey and sportsmanship. They shared their stories of how they became disabled as well as giving us glimpses into their daily lives.
Pictured above are former Miami Dolphins NFL players Isaiah Pead(L) and Isa Abdul-Quddus.
Isa Abdul-Quddus suffered an injury from a teammate on the field. It was serious enough to not only end his NFL career but require him to have nerve transplants from his chest to different parts of his arm in order for the nerves to start functioning again. He is two years post injury and still recovering. He’s using much of the same mental strength and preparedness that got him into the NFL to recover from his life altering injury. A huge part of his road to recovery is credited to the Miami Dolphins team and Kevin Thornhill, Miami Dolphins Director of player engagement for assembling a post professional athlete career program for athletes to help transition from sports into the business world and return to everyday life. He has plans to go into entrepreneurship and learn more about becoming a paralympian. Abdul-Quddus was introduced to Angel City Sports by former teammate Isaiah Pead.
My son was just born and I felt reborn so we are on this journey together. – Isaiah Pead
Isaiah Pead obtained his injury through a car accident two years ago that required him to have his left leg amputated. He’s still facing daily life adjustments. Staying optimistic and focused are crucial to him as he understands that as an athlete your vision has to be clear whether it’s the NFL or Paralympics. After his accident he stayed strong for those around him, family and friends, that had supported him throughout his football career. His biggest motivation has been his son, born just one week prior to him being in the car accident.
Pead shared that he definitely wants to rejoin the world of sports and is very interested in joining forces with with Angel City Sports as he explores his options on which sport he will conquer next. He also credits the Miami Dolphins, family and friends as his support system throughout his recovery.
Clayton Frech – Founder & CEO has over 10 years of fundraising in adaptive sports in son Ezra’s honor Mr. Frech along with his wife Bahar Soomekh Frech hosted the evening. His goals were clear and simple, to grow Angel City Sports by continuing to build the confidence of athletes with physical disabilities, provide a place where athletes feel like they belong and live out their dreams of playing sports. Southern California is also a dream for the founder of Angel City Sports to become the best place to live if you have a physical disability.
Following the premiere, was a cocktail reception celebrating the past year in adaptive sports with a performance by special musical guest Victoria Canal, who was born with one arm and whose debut EP garnered millions of plays across multiple streaming platforms with a playful and passionate spirit and soulful vocals (https://www.victoriacanal.
About Angel City Sports
Angel City Sports provides year-round adaptive sports opportunities in Southern California for children, adults and veterans with physical differences and impairments. The non-profit organization is focused on encouraging physical activity for people with disabilities and advancing the adaptive sports movement regionally and nationally in collaboration with programs such as US Paralympics, Adaptive Sports USA, USA Volleyball, US Tennis Association and USA Track and Field. Debuting in 2015 and currently hosted at UCLA, the annual four-day Angel City Games features clinics and competition in adaptive sports and activities including track & field, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis, swimming and archery. Additional programs, clinics and events throughout the year cover an even wider range of adaptive sports and are open to people with physical differences. The organization also supports emerging school-based programs through adaptive sports equipment rental, coaching education and athlete training.
To learn more, please visit www.angelcitysports.org.