Leaping Beyond is a 501c-3 non-profit organization focused on honoring children with disabilities by providing access to adaptive sports allowing them to "leap beyond" expectations. We host ongoing swim programs, series of summer sport camps, adaptive basketball leagues, adaptive baseball leagues, dance classes each year that give children with disabilities in the Central Arkansas area an opportunity to grow and learn in a fun and safe environment. Our staff and volunteers are focused on community education, building self-confidence and supplying necessary tools for independence that are specific to each individual and their family needs.
There is an urgent need to develop and establish effective programming in Central Arkansas aimed at improving the physical fitness and overall health of children with disabilities. It is our goal to be able to allow each child an equal opportunity to participate in our events no matter the situation. With that being said, we want to give every child a chance to participate in our programs by allowing the option to scholarship our participants. Leaping Beyond relies heavily on volunteer efforts and financial contributions from supporters. In a 2017 cost analysis determined that our program must recoup a minimum of $110 per child from fundraising to meet the costs of the facility. As you can imagine, these costs have continued to increase. Also, with our growing participation in Leaping Beyond our equipment costs have increased significantly, and we want to be able to provide the best adaptive equipment for each child to get the full experience of each sport, just like a typical developing child. To be able to provide all of these opportunities, it also comes with a significant amount of facility costs, rental fees, nutritional snacks provided to each child during our programs, and other supplies to be able to provide each Leaping Beyond activity.
Leaping Beyond was established in 2014, being the only organization of its kind in the state. For kids with disabilities, attending a summer sports camp was nearly impossible because most camps are not equipped or trained to adapt to each child’s special needs. Leaping Beyond provides children the opportunity to attend a sports camp staffed by graduate students and pediatric therapists who tailor activities to each child’s abilities to increase activity tolerance, aerobic fitness, physical strength, and balance. For the parent, Leaping Beyond provides a safe environment that enables their child to progress. For the child, Leaping Beyond is a sports camp where basketball skills are honed, baseballs are thrown, and swimming lessons are the highlight of the week.
We currently serve more than 100 children, ranging from age 5 years old to 20+ years old, from many various areas in Central Arkansas, such as Ward, Beebe, Searcy, Cabot, England, Bryant,Lonoke, Sherwood, and Carlisle. The disabilities include Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Spina Bifida, Parkinson's Disease, ADHD, TBI, Down Syndrome and other various Genetic Disorders. Our participants have experienced physical improvements within their daily living abilities, in addition to mental stability and improved self-confidence.