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RallyCap Sports hosts activities for people with special needs

RallyCap Sports is an organization that provides recreational sports programs for people with special needs, according to its website.

Luisa Rinaudo, a senior elementary and special education and liberal studies major, said that Paul Hooker, the founder of RallyCap Sports, reached out to her in hopes of starting a chapter of the organization at Seton Hall.

Rinaudo said she was excited to bring the organization to campus as soon as she heard that Hooker wanted to extend it to college campuses.

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Luisa Rinaudo, the RallyCap Sports president for Seton Hall, said the organization offers soccer, bowling and basketball activities for people with special needs. Photo Courtesy of Luisa Rinaudo

“When RallyCap started branching out to universities, I was asked by the founder my sophomore year at SHU if I wanted to start a chapter here,” Rinaudo said. “I immediately jumped at the opportunity. From there I have found my amazing executive board, and we have been working hard to create this programming in the community.”

RallyCap Sports was founded in 1990 when Hooker saw the need for inclusive programming for people with special needs in Middletown, New Jersey, she explained. Now, through partnerships across the community, RallyCap Sports has begun to plant its roots in the South Orange area.

Rinaudo, who is the president of the Seton Hall organization, said that they currently offer soccer, bowling and basketball, and hope to open the floor to yoga, dancercise and arts and craft nights.

“Through these activities, RallyCap provides parents and community members with a place to connect and form friendships,” Rinaudo said.

Rinaudo added that the club has quickly grown to be 20 members strong, all coming from different walks of life.

Karly Sarnowski, a senior elementary and education major, is the vice president of RallyCap Sports. She said she uses her communication skills to foster the goal environment that the club has set.

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RallyCap Sports at Seton Hall members at a bowling event. Photo courtesy of Luisa Rinaudo

“My goal is to help in whatever way I can in order to support the inclusive environment RallyCap Sports creates,” Sarnowski said.

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Alexys Calabro, a junior social and behavioral sciences major, is the parent and family coordinator of the organization and described an experience she had helping a young girl kick a soccer ball down the field.

“She was doing amazing, using her walker to navigate the field and kick the ball,” Calabro said. “At the end of the session, her mom turned to me and said, ‘That is the first time she has ever kicked a ball.’ Moments like that make me so grateful to have the opportunity to work with such an amazing organization.”

RallyCap Sports at Seton Hall spends one hour every week volunteering with members of the community.

Dalton Allison can be reached at dalton.allison@student.shu.edu. You can also find him on Twitter @daltonallison4.

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