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Inclusive sports day coming to WVU

Mar. 15—How do you get to Morgantown ?

If helps if you know somebody in San Diego, Matt Lance said Friday morning.

Lance is the founder, president and CEO of the Inclusive Sports Foundation, a national, nonprofit group based in Southern California that does just that.

From its home base in Corona, just outside Los Angeles, the foundation stages sporting events on college campuses across the nation, giving children and adults with special needs the opportunity to get out there and enjoy the game.

The foundation is hosting its first-ever event in Morgantown April 18 at the Caperton Indoor Facility on WVU's Evansdale campus.

"Opportunity " is the watchword, said Lance, a former college athlete who played football at Utah State University.

He also teaches physical education for special-needs youngsters at a high school in Corona.

So often, he said, people with special considerations end up being excluded—and sometimes, over something as simple as logistics.

Which is exactly what happened in 2017 when one of Lance's classes missed out on being able to attend a sports competition over a transportation obstacle.

"Well, that wasn't going to happen again, " he recalled.

He called a teaching colleague at another school, and after the notes were exchanged, an outreach endeavor was born.

Sure, he said, it's about the competition.

But what it really comes down to, he said, is the camaraderie of the whole thing.

"It's about testing yourself to find out just what you can do, " Lance said, speaking by cell phone from a foundation event in California.

"It's about teamwork and sportsmanship, " he said, raising his voice to be heard over the whoops and cheers, "and all the good things about athletics."

Lunch will be provided during the free event in Morgantown, he said, with a host of sports stations set up for the day.

Promotional T-shirts will also be available to add to the memories.

"We're looking forward to our first trip to West Virginia and Morgantown, " he said.

If Mountaineers are always free, they're also in many places, and on many college campuses on the map, as Lance happily discovered.

"Somebody at San Diego State with a connection to WVU called. He said, 'I know a good place where you guys can go next.'"

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