Harrisonburg High students experience Paralympic sports at JMU clinic


A group of Harrisonburg High School students will experience wheelchair basketball and goalball Thursday, Feb. 27 when they visit James Madison University for the fifth annual Paralympic Skill Lab.

Paralympians Matt Simpson and Trevon Jenifer will take some time off from their preparations for the 2020 Tokyo games to once again lead the activities. They will be joined by three accomplished wheelchair basketball players from the Charlottesville Cardinals.

The athletes also will lead labs for select JMU kinesiology100 classes and for the health and physical education teacher education students at JMU.

The labs, which are open to the media, will take place in the University Recreation Center, with the Harrisonburg High School students visiting from 9:35-10:40 a.m. JMU students will attend sessions from 8-9:15 a.m., 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. and 12:30-1:45 p.m. The labs will combine Paralympic ideals and values with educational activities to promote engagement and education related to adapted sport, inclusion and sociocultural norms.

Kinesiology professor Cathy McKay organizes the lab, which is funded by an Innovation in Diversity Effort Award Grant and the kinesiology department.

Athletes leading the education stations will be:

  • Paralympian Matt Simpson, a Team USA Goalball player who won silver at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
  • Paralympian Trevon Jenifer, a Team USA Wheelchair Basketball player who won gold at the Rio Games and a bronze at the London Games.
  • Collegiate All-American wheelchair basketball player and Roanoke native Jacob Tyree who played wheelchair basketball at the University of Illinois and who was a member of Team USA’s U23 wheelchair basketball team. Jacob founded the Roanoke Stars wheelchair basketball team and plays for the Charlottesville Cardinals wheelchair basketball team.
  • Brandon Rush and Tom Vandever from the Charlottesville Cardinals. Rush played on the Edinboro University intercollegiate wheelchair basketball team, coaches a junior team in Richmond and is captain of the Charlottesville Cardinals. Vandever is the founder of the Charlottesville Cardinals as well as a player.

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Involves Faculty, Involves Staff, Involves Participants External to JMU




February 27, 2020


One Time Only

Existing Center/Institute/Program


Type of Partner

Public schools PK-12; Nonprofit Agency

Primary Focus of Program

Health and Healthcare

Community Partner Name

Harrisonburg High School

Begin Date


Areas of Engagement

Community Engagement, Engaged Learning


Program, Community Service, Event

On/Off campus

On campus

Academic Level of Engagement

Course, Department

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