The National Disability Sports Alliance (NDSA) is the National Governing Body for competitive sports for individuals with cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injuries and survivors of stroke. The NDSA is a community based organization that is a member of the United States Olympic Committee. Not only does the NDSA provide this opportunity for competitive sports to the middle aged generation, they also focus of providing competitive sporting events for the youth. The NDSA is an organization that helps individuals with disabilities, regardless of age, live as close to a normal life as possible. The NDSA has been providing individuals with physical disabilities opportunities to participate in competitive sports, as well as recreation and fitness activities, for more than 20 years.
The National Disability Sports Alliance was originally formed as the United States Cerebral Palsy Athletic Association (USCPAA) in 1987. Historically, the NDSA's primary focus was based on serving individuals with cerebral palsy and survivors of a stroke. The name of this organization was officially changed in 2001 to reflect the growing number of the disability groups represented. The NDSA wanted to improve from only helping individuals with cerebral palsy to helping a wide range of physically disabling conditions, including muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis.
The NDSA was primarily created to allow an athlete, regardless of functional ability, to train and participate in highly competitive sports. The NDSA has established a competitive, multilevel system for both wheelchair users and individuals that use otehr assisted devices. The NDSA sanctions numerous local and regional events which can lead to participation at the national level. The most highly skilled athletes in the NDSA then go on to compete in the Paralympics, a division of the Olympics.
Sports : NDSA includes many sports and activities such as basketball, bocce, bowling, cycling, equestrian events, indoor wheelchair soccer, power lifting, swimming, and track and field.
Participants : Recently, the NDSA has started giving a helping hand to anyone, regardless of age, that has a physical disability. Although most sports require that each participant has to qualify in certain catagories before they can play, there are some sports that are open to anyone with a disability.
Goals : Whether the participant's intentions are to compete in the Olympics or compete just for fun, the NDSA has goals in mind. The NDSA focuses on increasing each individual's confidence and improving their quality of life. This can come in a variety of ways such as competing, or simply increasing strength and mobility. The NDSA also allows the individuals to meet others with disabilities and possibly grow friendships that could give them the boost in self-esteem that they have been searching for.