A Great Marriage: No Barriers and National Ability Center partner for 2015 Summit
By Brian Smith
We get back more than we give.
That’s the reason why Gail Loveland loves to work in the adaptive sports world. It’s a field that’s more meaningful than the sum of its parts. As executive director of the National Ability Center, Loveland’s work benefits many, and the inspiration of the many in turn fuels her.
“Through the work I’ve done over the last decade or more, I approach those challenges a lot differently than I did before,” she said. “It gives me a bit of perspective on how you can take life and roll with it.”
It’s this theme – a marriage of action, inspiration and mindset – that excites Loveland about No Barriers’ partnership with the NAC for this year’s No Barriers Summit.
Founded in 1985, the National Ability Center is a non-profit that seeks to “inspire individual achievement and create a global impact for people of all abilities.” Their mission is to “empower individuals of all abilities by building self-esteem, confidence and lifetime skills through sport, recreation and educational programs.”
The NAC will partner with No Barriers at our 2015 Summit in Park City, Utah, providing an array of support, including local expertise, logistics support, and hosting about a dozen adaptive clinics.
Both organizations share similar values of transforming what some may see as negatives into positive and looking past a disability to see the person’s abilities.
Perhaps the most powerful idea the two share is that of resiliency, Loveland said.
“We really feel like the No Barriers concept is preparing us and supporting that core value of being resilient in the face of adversity,” she said.
The NAC considered participating in our 2013 Summit, and while they knew the concept was “awesome,” Loveland said they “wanted to do it right” before committing. They agreed to send a team to Telluride to see if it “was a good fit for our organization, our mission and our brand.”
“Overwhelmingly that team came back with a thumbs up and a ‘We’ve gotta do this,’” she said.
Loveland said she is looking forward to the “incredible energy” that can come from such events, especially how they can grow social connections, turning an idea into a movement.
“It’s kind of like when you have a lot of family members out there and you’re just excited to meet each other,” she said. “It’s our opportunity to introduce some of our favorite people to other favorite people and see how they build their own social connections and support networks.
“We know that the impact of this event can be huge and we can’t wait to be part of starting this first drop in the bucket that we know is going to ripple out really far.”
Summit Director Katie Watkins said No Barriers is extremely excited about working with the NAC and its talented staff to curate life-changing experiences.
“When we looked at all of the great applications we had for the 2015 Summit host, National Ability Center’s strong program expertise, extensive reach, and respect within the adaptive industry made them a desirable partner from the outset,” Watkins said. “As we explored the details of our working relationship, it became clear that together we would have the opportunity to really take the Summit to the next level.
“All this on top of the fact that NAC is located in one of the most beautiful and accessible cities in the nation. To borrow from Gail’s analogy, it was love at first sight.”