Minnetonka-Wayzata Lakers

Danielle Lohrenz, Staff Writer

Many things come to mind when sports are brought up.

“For me, the thing that defines a sport is hard work and challenging yourself both physically and mentally,” says Annabelle Hommer, ‘22.

For years, some students have been forced to watch from the sidelines when it comes to school sports because they have a disability. Public schools often struggle to provide adapted sport options because they do not have the proper equipment, or they are unsure about how to run an adapted sport. Some schools have no options, while others only have one; either way, it is not enough and should not be acceptable.

School systems are trying to change. Minnetonka High School now offers Adapted Soccer, Floor Hockey, Softball and Bowling. The Minnesota Adapted Athletics Association states their “mission is to provide youth with disabilities the same opportunities as other students to enjoy the benefits of the high quality high school sports program.”

It is the perfect way for all students to be included in some of their favorite activities. There are two co-ed divisions for adapted sports. There is a PI division, which is meant for student athletes with physical disabilities, as well as a CI division for student athletes with mental or cognitive disabilities.

 While the rules of these sports are changed to make them better suited for its players, it does not mean they are not as competitive as any other high school varsity sport. These students meet three times each week and have 8-10 games per season. The adapted sports program at Minnetonka aims to help every student enjoy and be included the high school athletics program.

In order to get as many players as possible, Minnetonka and Wayzata Adapted Sports joined together as a cooperative league in the 2000-2001 school year. They named their league the Lakers with the colors blue, white, and gold.

If you want to support the adapted athletics teams, go to the Minnetonka home page and click on any adapted sport to see their schedule.