The Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association’s (GLASA) Twilight Run, Walk, Roll, and Post-Race Party—a fall favorite—is being moved up one month this year to accommodate GLASA’s Paralympians who may be heading to Rio to compete in the Paralympic games.
“This is such an exciting time for GLASA and our athletes,” says GLASA’s founder and executive director Cindy Housner. GLASA had 15 track and field athletes qualify to compete at this year’s Paralympic trials, including Evanston’s Aaron Holzmueller. “I’m not sure people realize the caliber of athletes our programs support,” she adds, having dropped off three athletes at the airport the morning of our interview who were heading to Prague to compete in the U23 International Wheelchair Amputee Sports Federation World Games.
“There isn’t a day that goes by where I’m not in awe of what these spirited and motivated athletes accomplish.” Should any of GLASA’s athletes make the Paralympic team, Housner as well as other GLASA coaches may accompany them to Rio this August. Housner launched GLASA in 1999 in order to provide health and wellness programming to a segment of the population that was not being served. GLASA provides integrative Paralympic, recreational, and competitive sport activities for youth and adults, including injured military who have physical or visual disabilities.
Beginning with less than a dozen participants, GLASA now serves more than 600 individuals in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin each year through direct programming.
Over 3,000 youth and adults are also served each year through education and outreach initiatives. Educational
clinics and elite level competitions bring in athletes, teams, and families from around the country.
“I have always believed in the self-esteem that comes from being allowed to participate and succeed in sports,” says Housner. “At GLASA, we help level the playing field so that
anyone who wants to compete has a fighting chance to do it.”
GLASA’s Twilight Run, Walk, and Roll is one of the largest CARA-certified races in the Chicagoland area serving competitive and recreational runners and athletes with disabilities. The start and finish of the race is the Gorton Community Center, with the race winding through the streets of downtown Lake Forest. The proceeds of this event will help GLASA provide year-round, daily adaptive sports programming and financial assistance through their Athlete
For more information about GLASA or to register for the race, visit glasatwilight.org.