Wheelchair football athletes from across the country will compete in Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association’s first home tournament on August 13 & 14 at College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois. 2022 marks the second year of USA Wheelchair Football League (USAWFL) tournament play. The USAWFL is a program of Move United that is made possible by support from the National Football League (NFL) and Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) partnership, which is part of the League’s Salute to Service initiative as well as local team support by the Chicago Bears.
The tournament competition will kick off on Saturday morning, August 13 at 8:00 AM with two fields running concurrently from 8:00 AM-6:00 PM on Saturday and from 8:00 AM-4:00 PM on Sunday in Parking Lot #8 at College of Lake County. A champion will be crowned Sunday afternoon during the final matchup at 2:00 PM. Chicago Bears alumnus, Kaseem Sinceno, is slated to attend and serve as an honorary coach for the GLASA Chicago Bears during Sunday’s game.
Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association (GLASA) provides 20+ adaptive and Paralympic sports year-round, including the GLASA Chicago Bears competitive team and recreational wheelchair football. The GLASA Chicago Bears were part of the original four teams when the league started in 2019, including teams in Los Angeles, Kansas City, and Arizona. Dave Michael, Mak Nong and Jeff Yackley serve as the Captains of the GLASA Chicago Bears Wheelchair Football Team, led by head coach and GLASA Board President, Jason Sfire.
“Being part of the GLASA Chicago Bears Wheelchair Football Team has not only provided me with a better quality of life physically, but mentally as well. The camaraderie that I feel within this team is unparalleled,” said Mak Nong, a member of the GLASA Chicago Bears Wheelchair Football Team and the team’s All Pro selection last season. Since joining the team, Nong accepted the full-time role of Program Manager for GLASA, impacting hundreds of athletes across multiple adaptive sports through the organization.
In addition to supporting the USAWFL’s competitive teams, the grant from the NFL and BWF partnership as part of the League’s Salute to Service initiative and Move United provides opportunities for grassroots growth of the sport through coaching education and learn-to-play clinics. As a result, GLASA is able to host clinics in wheelchair football throughout the year, most recently at GLASA’s Great Lakes Games in partnership with the Chicago Bears Wheelchair Football Team, including participation from Chicago Bears alumni, staff and Stanley Da Bear. The team provided equipment and support to GLASA to serve 40 new individuals interested in wheelchair football.
“We are excited to kick off our second full season with this tournament hosted by GLASA, one of our exemplary member organizations,” said Move United Executive Director Glenn Merry. “With the league expansion and new teams added this year that was made possible by the NFL and the Bob Woodruff Foundation, we can’t wait to see more players compete and leave it all out on the field.”
The tournament seeks volunteer support for set up on August 12 and games on August 13 and 14. Volunteer opportunities are available to sign up online at: https://linktr.ee/VolunteerForGLASA.
Youth football organizations, nonprofits and local community groups are invited to come out to a game to support our athletes and teams as spectators, especially the tournament’s home team, the GLASA Chicago Bears Wheelchair Football Team.
To get involved in the upcoming tournament and to learn more about how you can support the USA Wheelchair Football League GLASA Chicago Bears, contact Kelly Candotti Habas at 847-283-0908 or email Kelly@GLASA.org.
ABOUT GREAT LAKES ADAPTIVE SPORTS ASSOCIATION (GLASA)
The Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association is a 501c3 nonprofit organization based in the Chicagoland community. GLASA provides a continuum of 20+ developmental to elite level adaptive sports locally while also providing programming to athletes in thirty states. GLASA believes that quality of life should never be limited by a physical or visual disability. More information about GLASA can be found at GLASA.org.