Man born partially paralyzed among Pearland adaptive recreation program's stars

PEARLAND, Texas (KTRK) -- Already running for a couple of years, Pearland's adaptive recreation program provides social and recreational services to youth and adults with physical or developmental disabilities.

It helps them explore new skills, while at the same time giving them an opportunity to gain a sense of independence.

Guy Herman is one of the volunteer coaches that works with individuals at the Pearland Recreation Center.

"We have about 20 people that show up every week. They just want to come out and learn how to dribble the ball a little bit better. And some of them just really want to interact with the other kids on the team and they look forward to it every week," Herman said.

"It's important to have things like this because of inclusivity," added Brandon Torres, the director of Pearland's adaptive recreation program. "It's a population that often gets overlooked and we feel it's important to include them."

Out on the baseball field, young men from the Pearland Saints are preparing for the season ahead of them.

"It taught me teamwork. Taught me how to focus on the ball. It's all about having fun," team member Jason Lane said.

They have been competing in the Special Olympics, with goals of getting back again this year.

"They don't care who wins or loses," said Bill Chard, a member of the Saints' coaching staff. "It's not about politics...It's about them coming out here, coming together as a team and having a ton of fun."

For Robert Lane, the sport is extremely important to his mobility.

"I was born with my whole left side paralyzed, and they told me that I wouldn't be able to live. But I am 48 now and I wouldn't have lived past the age of two," Lane said.

The teamwork skills adapted here help for when they're off the field too.

"I like helping with the community over here at the rec center, including Meals on Wheels and anything else that me and my team likes," said Saints member Joshua Sherwood.

"A lot of these kids never used to open up and now they're out there talking to more people involved in the community. Some even now got jobs out here in the community, helping out. So it's a big blessing," said Raymond Rocha, another coach for the Saints.

The Pearland adaptive recreation program is free to all participants. You can find information through the city's website.

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