Congratulations to the Gwinnett HEAT on the program’s 10-year anniversary!
The Gwinnett HEAT is the district’s coed, adapted sports program for students in grades 1-12. The program gives students with physical disabilities or orthopedic impairments an opportunity to participate in athletic competitions.
The HEAT fields three teams— wheelchair handball in the fall, wheelchair basketball in the winter, and wheelchair football in the spring. Participating student-athletes may or may not use a wheelchair on a day-to-day basis. However, wheelchairs—both manual and power—serve as a tool that allows students to play competitive sports.
Over the last decade, the program has won five state championships and teams have been state runner-up 15 times. Most recently, the HEAT placed second in the 2017 Georgia High School Association Wheelchair Handball state championship tournament in early November.
"Throughout the past 10 years, we have seen many of our athletes go onto college and into successful careers,” says Mike Phillips, area coordinator for the Adapted Sports Program. Mr. Phillips cites a Gwinnett HEAT student-athlete who went on to graduate from the University of Georgia and is now teaching and coaching at Mill Creek HS. “The adapted sports program has been very successful in giving students with a physical disability an opportunity to participate in competitive sports, and, in return, we're able to make a difference in their lives and future," he says.
Interested students, parents, and family members should contact Mr. Phillips at 678-301-6885 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Gwinnett HEAT is a member program of the American Association of Adapted Sports Programs.