CUNY facilities should expand to accommodate other uses

CUNY’s dedication to integrity has been part of the university’s agenda since its inception. Keeping to the spirit, CUNYAC Office partnered up with the United States Paralympic Committee to create CUNY Gateway to Gold Event, the first CUNY-wide competition for students with physical impairments. The event was held at Queens College on April 17.

According to the CUNYAC website, Gateway to Gold is a national initiative “designed to introduce youth and adults with an impairment to Paralympic sport and connect them to the entry point of the athlete pipeline for Team USA through athlete development and identification strategies.”

By getting people involved with Paralympic sports, the program will increase the number of Paralympic athletes competing in these sports on the national and international levels.

The 50 participants were split into groups that would then spend the day engaging in different Paralympic sports, including discus, javelin, rowing, sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis. For participants who used wheelchairs, special racing wheelchairs were made available.

“I had so much fun. I played sports before I got injured and I realized that there’s so many opportunities even after being injured. I knew about club sports before this but I had no idea about Paralympic sport before today. This is the first event like this that I’ve been to,” Karina Nicolakis, who participated in the event, said.

During the lunch break, participants were able to get their questions answered by Daniel Schwieder, manager of the Paralympic Community Partnerships, which is part of the United States Olympic committee.

CUNY was always dedicated to inclusion, whether through creating ablution sinks in bathrooms or building prayer rooms. By creating an event dedicated to students with impairments, people who are in charge of CUNY showed once more that no group is forgotten.

It will be interesting to observe how the CUNY Gateway to Gold program expands in the future. Though the first competition only attracted 50 students, it is likely that, with time, more students will attend. In a few years, some may even go on to represent the United States in the Paralympics.

With several gyms on campus, as well as a swimming pool, it would be nice to see an event like the one held at Queens come to Baruch College. Our facilities are used as practice venues for NBA teams, local middle schools and other local amateur sport leagues. Why not bring CUNY Gateway to Gold or something like it to our campus?