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


May 2023

Executive Director's Message

SportsAbility 2023: A Wonderful Success!

Well, we made it through and we can happily report that our first year back in person since 2019 was awesome!

More than 600 people attended the 3-day event which kicked off with an Opening Ceremony on Thursday evening at the Miracle Sports Field with baseball, great music from DJ Sam, a visit from the Miracle Moose, and tasty snacks from Kiwanis.

The Friday event at TCC was a blast! Students from area schools attended and enjoyed sit volleyball, tennis, archery, a display for the Fish and Wildlife Commission, and a number of other activities. Approximately 25 exhibitors and activity providers from state and local agencies, non-profits, service providers, and community advocates provided information and demonstrations.

Being in-person meant we could enjoy some live entertainment! Performances by the Pyramid Studio Dancers, and from Hart and Soul--a band from Gretchen Everhart School added to the fun and excitement. Hector Del Valle, a nationally recognized disability advocate, shared his experiences during his more than 38 years of living life from his wheelchair.  
On Saturday, we gathered at Maclay Gardens State Park for outdoor fun! Although rainy weather threatened, it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of participants, volunteers, activity providers, family, friends, and caregivers. Attendees could take part in an array of outdoor activities including sit-ski, boat rides, a climbing wall, EcoRover trail adventures, horseback riding, accessible bikes, nature tours, and lawn games. A live band provided entertainment throughout the day. There was something for everyone regardless of individual interests, age, and abilities. 

A BIG THANK YOU to all our sponsors, activity providers, volunteers, and community partners.  We could not have done this without you!

Family Cafe – June 9-11, 2023

The SportsAbility Alliance is excited to once again be a part of the Family Café conference scheduled for June 9-11, 2023 in Orlando, Florida.

The SportsAbility Sampler at the Café will have numerous hands-on activities, including tennis, SCUBA, archery and target games. Resource providers will be there to provide information on adaptive water-skiing, EcoRovers, accessible boating and more! In addition to the samplers and resources, GatorLand will have live animal demonstrations. These are always a lot of fun!

For more information about the Family Café, visit:

Stay well friends!

Fran Gilbert
Executive Director, SportsAbility Alliance

Fodder from the Founder

David Jones, Founder, SportsAbility Alliance

I’ll borrow a marketing slogan from a major corporation and express my personal perception and philosophy; “life is good!”

We hosted our full scale SportsAbility Expo as our return from the Covid 19 adaptations, and what a fantastic event it was! Hats off to our new Executive Director, Fran Gilbert and our Communications and Programs Director, Kasara Barto, and all of our interns, sponsors, and volunteers who came to the calling.

We are always looking forward and striving to do more, bigger, and better things that provide opportunities for participation in recreation and active leisure. We are heading back to Orlando for The Family Café event in June to provide our SportsAbility Sampler and we invite you to join us in this remarkable 25th annual event.

We continue to create and to provide other SportsAbility Samplers with our partners around the State. We are also now doing EcoRover Beach and Trail Adventures. We are expanding this program with the use of our growing fleet thanks to the grants that we have been awarded by the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida, the Christopher Reeves Foundation, and Move United / VA. These organizations helped us to purchase units and to provide these outdoor experiences for people with disabilities and their families or friends. Opportunities are being created and offered at different beach, trail, and outdoor venues. These are listed on our “ALLOUT” page, where you can reserve your spot to participate. These are all family-oriented excursions and provided at no cost. 

We are currently making plans with other partners to co-host SportsAbility samplers with various recreational activities and at multiple locations throughout the year. We will offer an EcoRover Sampler at the Brooks Surf Day at Jacksonville Beach on June the 3rd. We are also partnering again with SonFishers in the Merritt Island area to do fishing and archery activities. We will also partner with them to offer another family beach day with the EcoRovers. More details on that coming soon!

For those of you who are not familiar with the EcoRover, it is an all-terrain mobility device that can go anywhere a wheelchair can, and beyond! It is a phenomenal tool for accessing beaches, trails, and all outdoor activities that can now be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. It provides a functional, dependable way for family and friends to enjoy the outdoors together.We will have EcoRovers available every Saturday during the month of May at William J. Rish State Park and every Sunday at St. George Island State Park. I will be there to let people try them out at no cost. You can reserve a time slot on our “ALLOUT” page. Priority will be given to Veterans with a disability, people with paralysis, and their families. Anyone is welcome to join us and try out the new electric powered EcoRover on our favorite local beaches.

Other SportsAbility samplers are being planned for water-based activities with Life Worth Leading/Handicapped SCUBA Association in Tallahassee, Shake-A-Leg in South Florida, and for sit skiing with Ann’s Angels in Central Florida. We will also be offering reservations to utilize EcoRovers at several of the Fish and Wildlife Commission’s Mobility Impaired hunts and others this coming Season. A reminder that the application for these unique quota hunts begin in June and are allocated by permit drawings to participate. See or for more information and details on the hunts and permitting procedures.

I know some of you have questions about the Hands Helping Anglers annual fishing event and I do have an update! Due to circumstances beyond our control, this event has been moved to September. More information and signups for boat captains as well as participants to come! 

Our Miracle Sports program continues to grow and prosper as well! Our indoor adaptive tennis program begins in July, and then we are back to kickball in the Fall. We are also looking to expand our programming with a proposed 2nd Miracle Sports Field at the planned new northeast county park.

Life is good!


David Jones
Founder, SportsAbility Alliance


Miracle Sports Kickball Event Image

Miracle Sports - Tennis

Join us for some in-person tennis this summer at Lawrence Gregory Community Center (Tallahassee). We play Thursday evenings from July 6 - 27.  Everyone is welcome to play. No prior experience is necessary. All Ages & All Abilities!

Date(s): Thursdays, July 6 - 27, 2023

Location: Lawrence-Gregory Community Center, 1115 Dade St, Tallahassee, FL 32304

SportsAbility Expo - experience recreation and active leisure

SportsAbility Events

  • ALLOUT EcoRover Adventures - dates available throughout the year in locations around the state of Florida 
  • EcoRover Sampler Events
    • Brooks Rehabilitation Surf Day - June 3, Jacksonville Beach 
    • Sonfishers Family Beach Day - June 22, Merritt Island
    • Sonfishers Family Beach Day - July 18, Merritt Island 
  • Spirit Club Workouts Fridays at 11:00 on Facebook
  • Family Cafe Sampler Friday - Sunday, June 9 - 11, 2023, more information on the activities can be found on the flyer below
  • Miracle Sports Tennis Thursday evenings, July 6 - 27, 2023. Youth play 6pm-7pm, Adults play 7pm-8pm. 

Location: Tallahassee, across Florida and online


SportsAbility Alliance is Proud to Announce our 2023 Award Recipients.

During the 2023 SportsAbilty Expos SportsAbility Alliance honored our 2023 Volunteer of the Year Sam Pate who has tirelessly taken photos of all our events for many years. Many of our regular participants know and appreciate Sam and all he does for SportsAbility. He is wonderful!

Cordell Jeter was awarded the 2023 Active Leisure for Life Award for his amazing work in designing and creating an All-Terrain Battery Powered Chair, “EcoRover", which allows individuals who could not previously access trails, beaches, and other terrain the ability to independently traverse a range of terrain including sand, snow, grass, gravel, rocks, creeks.

Congratulations to our 2023 Award Recipients! Thank you for all you do to support SportsAbility Alliance!


Insight from a School Psychologist: An Interview with Caitlin Murphy

This month's blog article was written by our Spring 2023 Sports Management Intern, Sean Munroe. 

Sean had the pleasure of interviewing Caitlin Murphy, a school psychologist for Thomas County Schools in Georgia, for this article.  The following are questions related to her role, the benefits of recreation for people with developmental disabilities, and how to interact with people with disabilities.

Check out this interesting blog article for more information!


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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