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Coach Ollie gives back. Announces first

POSTED December 27, 2014
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney


West Hartford, Conn. (Dec. 26, 2014)—Winning a National Championship on the court is hard enough. Doing it in a wheelchair or with a disability - takes it to an entirely new level.

Coach Kevin Ollie, inspired by athletes with disabilities, and Amy Barzach, co-founder of one of America’s first inclusive playgrounds, Jonathan’s Dream, have teamed up to announce the building of the first inclusive basketball court in Connecticut—“Kevin’s Kourt at Jonathan’s Dream Reimagined” in West Hartford.  “Kevin’s Kourt” is a project of the Kevin Ollie Charity Classic.

“Kevin’s Kourt at Jonathan’s Dream’ will help children and families, of all ages and abilities, discover the freedom of playing together without limitations,” said Barzach.

“We’re excited to team up with Jonathan’s Dream. Together, we’re building hope and fun for all,” Ollie said. “I am also proud to announce that ‘Kevin’s Kourt at Jonathan’s Dream’ will be the first of what we hope to be many inclusive basketball courts to be built throughout Connecticut,” Ollie said.

“Kevin’s Kourt at Jonathan’s Dream will have up to nine stations created by Bankshot™, which has pioneered inclusive basketball play structures based on total-mix diversity and universal design.

Jonathan’s Dream, on the - Zachs Campus - adjacent to the - Mandell Jewish Community Center, was one of America’s very first “inclusive” playgrounds.

To honor her son, Jonathan who lost his battle to spinal muscular atrophy in 1995, and the dream of all children being able to play together, Amy Barzach, her family and an army of 1,000 volunteers built the original Jonathan’s Dream in 1996.

Now, Jonathan’s Dream Reimagined is innovating fun once again, with revolutionary new equipment and experiences.

It is being rebuilt under the leadership of the "Jonathan's Dream Team", an alumni task force of Leadership Greater Hartford. Design services for Jonathan's Dream Reimagined have been donated by Shane's Inspiration, a nonprofit based in Los Angeles, California.

Additional donations to Jonathan’s Dream can be made by visiting www.jonathansdreamreimagined.org, or by mail to 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, CT 06117, or by contacting Ronit Shoham at 860-558-5313 or emailing her at jonathansdreamreimagined@mandelljcc.org

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