As their mission states, the Carolina TarWheels are:
…dedicated to enhancing the lives of persons with disabilities by providing opportunities to develop the person as a whole, by promoting health, fitness, and education through sport, recreational, and social activities. [http://www.thecarolinatarwheels.org/p/about.html]
Since 1978, the Carolina TarWheels [http://www.thecarolinatarwheels.org/] have been serving people with disabilities. The organization tapered off in the 1990s due to a lack of available players; but in 2008, the Carolina TarWheels experienced a revival when Coach Donnie Langford took over.
Between Langford and his daughter, the two worked tirelessly to recruit additional players, as well as increase sponsors, and fundraising efforts for the Concord, NC-based team.
Along with the current players at the time, Langford added several players who had played for him previously. Langdon and his daughter also approached local companies and governments to make their organization one that stood out among the other adaptive sports programs. Today, the team is thriving and making new connections to individuals and families with disabilities.
Carolina TarWheels Win National Title
Recently, the Carolina TarWheels were named 2014 Division III National Champions after competing in the 65th annual National Wheelchair Basketball Championship Tournament (NWBA) in Louisville, KY back in April. The TarWheels were ranked No. 5 in the United States when they entered into the tournament.
Adding to the accolades was the tournament’s MVP award, which was awarded to TarWheel player, Donnie Langford. The entire starting lineup of the Carolina TarWheels team also made the “All-Tournament Team”. TarWheel players included in this award were: Richard Travis, Roger White, Steve Lister, and Pete Morgan.
Winning a National Championship is much bigger than a few trophies or awards; it signifies a shifting dynamic in both the way we view mobility challenges faced by those with disabilities as well as how we can help to rally behind all of the volunteers and athletes that participate in handicap sports.
Supporting the Carolina TarWheels
For more information about how you can become a sponsor, or for more information about volunteering or becoming an athlete on the team, visit www.thecarolinatarwheels.org. You can also contact the Carolina TarWheels by phone at (704) 791-5803 or via email at [email protected].