Accessible, inclusive recreation articles, news, and events...


February 2023

Executive Director's Message

SportsAbility 2023 is Back in Person!


Some of you may be surprised to see my picture here and not the photo of Laurie Gussak. Laurie has retired from SportsAbility, but she will remain involved as a parent, so you will see her around. I’m Fran Gilbert the new executive director for SportsAbility Alliance and I’m honored to be a part of this amazing organization. I’ve already met many of you and I look forward to meeting more of you at the upcoming SportsAbility events. Please be sure to come up and say hello!

2023 SportsAbility: We are so excited that this year SportsAbility is back in person! The 33rd Annual SportsAbility Expo will take place March 23-25 in Tallahassee, Florida. This event is FREE and open to everyone, but registration is required. You can attend 1, 2 or all 3 days—whatever your schedule allows. 
The 3-day event starts on Friday, March 23 from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm with Opening Ceremonies at Miracle Sports Baseball. On Friday, March 24 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, attendees can enjoy a variety of indoor accessible recreation activities as well as a resource expo at Tallahassee Community College. On Saturday from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm we hope you will join us for an outdoor adventure day at Maclay Gardens State Park. Participants will be able to experience accessible water sports, rock wall climbing, horseback riding, lawn games, EcoRovers and much more!
We hope you will join us and our partners for a wonderful time! Please visit for more information and to register.

SportsAbility Samplers: We are working with our activity providers to offer SportsAbility Samplers around Florida. Be on the lookout for more information.

Virtual Workout: We have partnered with Spirt Club to offer Fitness Friday workouts at 11:00 am Eastern Time. Check it out on the SportsAbility Alliance Facebook page. Don’t worry if you miss one—the workout is available all week on demand. We also have a special workout in our SportsAbility VR Park on February 22 at 11:00am in honor of heart health month! Join us there! 

Stay Well and Stay Active!

Fran Gilbert
Executive Director, SportsAbility Alliance

Fodder from the Founder

And we are off and into the new year!  A new year, new possibilities, and a new team leader. We are making a great fast start. We welcome Fran Gilbert as our new Executive Director and she has hit the floor running. She brings her skills, talents, and experiences to help guide us on the pursuit of our goals and objectives of the SportsAbility Alliance.

We appreciate all that Laurie has done for us over the past twenty years to help make our organization so successful and to enrich so many lives.  I am also very thankful for the succession planning and preparation that she put into making for a smooth transition. We have lots of programs and projects in place that will continue without missing a beat. We were very fortunate to have previously landed Kasara Barto as our valuable part time staff person to assist us as Fran takes the helm and continues our journey into an exciting new era. We are also happy to have kept our three great FSU student coaches for the Miracle Sports program. It continues to grow, and we now have more participation than ever. Our Kiwanis Partners continue their support, and we have a different Big Bend club out every week providing snacks and cheering on the athletes. We brought on two new interns to continue giving support and to provide that talent and skills that comes from a younger generation. They have really taken our social media to another level, and we continue to reach more people than ever with our messages and information.

We are all working on our “Return to real time” SportsAbility Expo 23 event and looking forward to a fun packed reunion of our longtime friends and supporters, and we are really anxious to meet new friends and also our first time participants are invited to attend one day or all of our three day events. Watch our website and social media for announcements of our SportsAbility Samplers that will be happening with our partners around the state year round.

The other big news is with our ALLout EcoRover Adventure program. We are into our third year of grants from the Florida Wildlife Foundation that has enabled us to start acquiring EcoRovers, a new tracked electric all terrain wheelchair to offer hunting, shooting and outdoor recreation opportunities for people to participate and enjoy the many benefits of accessible and inclusive recreation in the great outdoors. We were awarded a grant from Move United and the VA that has opened opportunities for us to serve our veterans with disabilities. We also just received a grant from the Christopher Reeves Foundation that will provide another EcoRover and now include service for people with spinal cord disorders. These programs will help us to remove the two biggest barriers to outdoor leisure activities,, lack of mobility and the lack of knowledge about solutions and opportunities. These start up projects are helping us to get closer to our goal of making the EcoRovers more readily available statewide. Watch for our Adventure program offerings and online reservations as we develop them by collaborations and joint efforts of like minded people and organizations.

It is a happy new year for the SportsAbility Alliance and we wish you all good health, happiness and a productive 2023 year.


David Jones
Founder, SportsAbility Alliance


Miracle Sports Kickball Event Image

Miracle Sports - Baseball

Join us for some in-person baseball at Miracle Field at Messer Park (Tallahassee). We play Thursday evenings from January 26 - April 6. At the end of the season, Florida State University (FSU) athletes come and play with the Miracle Sports Athletes. Everyone is welcome to play. No prior experience is necessary. All Ages & All Abilities!

Date(s): Thursdays, January 26 - April 6, 2023

Location: Miracle Field at Messer Park (Field #3 1158-1172 Dupree Street, Tallahassee, FL 32304)

SportsAbility Expo - experience recreation and active leisure

SportsAbility Expo

Location: Tallahassee and online


SportsAbility Alliance Annual Report 2022

SportsAbility Alliance is a very unique nonprofit organization. We have been very successful in our mission and have made quite a difference in the lives of people with disabilities of all ages and, just as important, have also touched the lives of many families, friends, as well as our entire community.

This report shares some of our program efforts and results. What it does not reflect is the enormous impact that we have had with our year-round advocacy efforts.

A Comprehensive and In-Depth Understanding of Special Olympics

SportsAbility Alliance and all our events are for people of all abilities. Athletes can choose to be as competitive, or not, as they would like, and everyone is able to participate! However, for those athletes looking for something a little more competitive, Special Olympics may be a good option to consider. Special Olympics offers many different sports and does have requirements in order to participate. 

 Check out this interesting blog article for more information about Special Olympics!

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Information for People with a Spinal Cord Injury

Information for People with a Brain Injury

SportsAbility Alliance

(formerly Florida Disabled Outdoors Association)
3035 Eliza Road, Tallahassee, FL 32308

+1 (850) 201-2944  |  [email protected]

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