April Cookston remembers the days she sat watching in her wheelchair as her brothers played soccer, longing to scamper in the grass with them. But she was confined to the sidelines.
Those days are over. April, a 10-year-old with cerebral palsy, has found a team of her own: the Bombers, a power soccer team in the Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program, BORP.
“I go to practice and I feel like I’m with people who are like me, and it’s my home,” she said during an interview at her East Oakland home, wearing a pink BORP sweatshirt. “Everyone at power soccer is my family.”
Celebrating its 40th year, Berkeley-based BORP grew from a small nonprofit formed by two UC Berkeley students denied participation in an athletic class, to an organization that offers adaptive sports to some 800 people, young and old with disabilities.