Parkland Buddy Sports is a wonderful organization helping South Florida kids with special needs experience sports programs. The group’s President, Andy Zaukas, is proud of the work Parkland BuddySports is doing.
"We started out as an offshoot of Rec sports in Parkland to bring additional programs to the special needs community. We always say we are a community within a community so we are very much supported by our city, our commissioners and our Mayor is wonderful, " said Andy Zaukas.
The organization includes eight sports. It’s free for the kids, and children who live all over South Florida can take part.
"We have kids coming from as far as Wellington and Boyton and Boca, and as far as Miramar, Weston and Ft Lauderdale, to participate as a special needs child or to participate as a volunteer." said Zaukas.
It's not just a great experience for the special needs children, but for the volunteers as well, who end up becoming good friends with the kids.
"We pair special needs children from throughout South Florida, with High School, Middle School and Elementary School typical children, and we pair them and do a buddy program. That's where the sports come in, where its not so much about the sport, its more about the camaraderie." Said Zaukas.
Parkland Buddy Sports also brings families together, giving them a chance to meet like-minded people and share stories.
"It gives the family an opportunity to have a little breather, we have your children for an hour, hour and a half, go find out the latest and greatest, whether its medicinal or a doctor in the area, compare notes, stories, schools and everything else. So we try to give our parents a little breathing room and our kids have a great day." Said Zaukas
For more information about sponsoring, volunteering or participating in Parkland Buddy Sports, head to parklandbuddysports.org.