Monthly Archives: September 2010

Truck Pull!


Opening Day Recap

Paralympic sport club, borp, wheelchair basketball,

Paralympic Sports Club, Bay Area

For all of you that were there, thank you and I hope this triggers some great memories of an amazing day.
Thanks to Carla Bohnett, Dawn Nakashima, and Joe Carrow for the photos of the day’s events.
Also, BORP was mentioned in the Sharks website article on the Rookies visiting Oakland Ice Center and skating with some of the Sled Hockey athletes.|SJS|home
It is a great time to be part of a BORP program!

The Journey Begins

Posted by BORP on Behalf of Teamcraven. Teamcraven will be posting regularly about Sam, member of the U.S. Paralympic Team for Track and Field, as he trains for the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships. We’re looking forward to keeping up with Sam. Thanks Teamcraven!

Sam prepares to throw

September, 2010

Ron and I were working in Television in Denver, Colorado, when we met.  We have three boys, Matt, Brad and Sam.  Sam was born July 17, 1986. (Matt was 12 and Brad was 4) At the age of 13 months he received a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy.  We eventually learned the cause, after months of MRI’s and evaluations. The part of his brain that communicates between the two hemispheres, the Corpus Callosum, was not fully developed.  We were devastated.

We moved to California in 1991 and began talking to neurologists and Shriners Hospital for Children (then in San Francisco).  Sam was to have a Dorsal Rhyzotomy, where about 30% of the nerves in his spinal cord that were causing his legs to scissor would be cut. UCSF was the best place.  Therapy at Shriners was highly recommended.

Shortly after moving to California, Sam began receiving Physical and Occupational Therapy at California Children’s Services in Concord, California.  His OT noticed he was frustrated by his disabilities and was somewhat depressed.  She recommended we get him involved with BORP.  At age 5, Sam started playing wheelchair basketball on the Prep Team.  He was thrilled with “going fast”.  After the surgery in 1993, basketball (and BORP) helped him recover both mentally and physically.

Over the years, Sam enjoyed playing in Prep, Junior Varsity and even a Varsity game or two.  All along the way, we worked with him on his daily living skills with BORP sports, trips, coaches and teammates as incentives.  He was MVP when the Junior Varsity won back to back National Championships but the most valuable piece was his growing independence.

Sam was able to participate on his middle school track and field team and went on to become a member of his high school field squad but BORP really allowed Sam to excel in track and field.  With a throwing chair made from a backwards bar stool, he travelled with the team to New Jersey in 2001 and helped win the large team award with gold medals in swimming and field.  The next year he won golds in swimming, track and field, rolling around the track to beat a former Paralympian, Chris Ridgeway, in the 100 meter.  When he went to Australia in 2005 with Team USA, he was swimming, lifting weights, rolling track in the 100 and 200 meters and throwing the shot, discus and javelin. 

Sports were an incentive for Sam to develop daily living skills.  Because of his disability, motor planning and memory are difficult and so dressing and adhering to a schedule were a problem.  On a trip with BORP, he had to get down to the lobby by a certain time, order food, interact and keep up with the group.  One of us went on the trips but we needed to help all the kids so Sam had to keep up and do a lot on his own. 

He is living in his own apartment at the back of our house and is currently at the Paralympic Training Camp in Chula Vista, California (September 21-28, 2010).  He still needs some help with schedules and gets a good meal or two at the “main house”, but Sam has come a long way and much of his progress is because BORP provided the incentives we needed to encourage him at home.

Hockey with the Sharks

In Sled Hockey, any day on the ice is a good day.  It is an amazing day when you get out there and get to skate with members of the San Jose Sharks
sled hockey, BORP, paralympics, san jose sharks Sharks visit Oakland Ice


The Sharks skated with the kids from the youth hockey program at Oakland Ice Center and members of BORP’s Sled Hockey Program.  Sharkie was also on hand to skate around with everyone. 

sharkie, san jose sharks, borp, paralympics, sled hockey

Sharkie tries to steal the puck


I gotta say, this was awesome.  The Sharks were passing pucks and we were taking shots on one of the youth goalies and it was a blast. 


Afterwards, they stuck around to sign autographs for the kids.  Marcus threw kids out of the way to get up there for a photo.  

borp, paralympics, sled hockey san jose sharks, oakland ice Marcus and the Sharks

We have Sled Hockey practice every Sunday.  See you on the ice!

BORP tandems top Diablo

Hey, tandemists.  Last Saturday we had our first tandem ride up Mt. Diablo.  Everybody made it up to the Junction Ranger Station at 2000ft, including first time rider, Sergio Lopez.  That’s an outstanding first ride, for sure.  Karla Gilbride and her pilot, Ginger Jui, kept on climbing another 600 vertical feet.  

BORP Tandems top Diablo

Thanks to everyone for a successful ride, include pilots on half-bikes, Fil, Martin, and Amory.  Next scheduled ride is The Revolution!  See you all there.


Goal Ball Action

I just came home after an exciting night of goal ball action. With ten players in attendance (and three young women new to the sport who came to observe), there were two three-person teams and one four-person team rotating through several scrimmages (only three players can be on the court at one time).

The games were fast and furious, with throwers slinging the ball bowling-style across the court and defenders attempting to block it with their bodies before it crossed the goal line. All players must wear ski goggles covered with tape to obscure any vision they have, and the ball (which is slightly larger and heavier than a basketball) has bells in it so that players can hear it approaching. Lines on the court marked by ropes taped down to the floor also help with orientation.

Tonight Jonathan Newman, who administers the program and serves as referee, did an excellent job of creating evenly matched teams, so every game was competitive (despite the cannonballs that some of the veteran players were serving up). The last game of the night, and the most exciting in my opinion, was tied at 1 until my team scored with just a couple of minutes to play. We were then able to hold the lead for a low-scoring 2-1 victory. Yes, it’s fun to play, but especially fun to win! Now I’m going to go nurse my bruises…

Sam Craven named to US National Track & Field Team

Sam Craven, shot put, paralympics, BORP, track & field, wheelchair sports

Sam prepares to throw

Everyone that knows BORP knows Sam.  From the little 7-year old that rolled in the Bay-to-Breakers to the mountain of a man that everyone simply calls “Big Sam”.  


Sam Craven, BORP

Sam growing up with BORP

He has participated in everything BORP has to offer, past and present.  

Sam sled hockey, BORP

Sam practicing Sled Hockey

He helped lead the Bay Cruisers to two JV National Championships, one with a broken nose.  He has been a crash test dummy on the basketball court and has broken more frames than anyone I know.  On weekends when he has time you can still find him in the gym helping out with the Prep Team. 

wheelchair basketball, BORP

Sam prepares to dunk (okay, not really)

Recently he has been a little busy.  He has been training, attending camps, and training some more with the US National Track & Field Team.  He has perfected his technique in the Shot put and is one of the top throwers in the country.  We are all excited to say that Sam Craven has just qualified for the US Paralympic Team for Track & Field. He will be competing in the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand, January 21-30, 2011.  Congratulations goes out to the entire Craven family because we all know that behind every great athlete is a great group of people who get you to practice, patch you back up, dust you off, and help you become the best you can be.
From all of us at BORP – Congratulations Sam!