SportsSports News


AAU softball players in Santee teach the game to those with disabilities

Beautiful Lives Project.png
Posted at 7:18 PM, Jul 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-14 22:18:22-04

SANTEE, Calif. (KGTV) — Bryce Weiler lost his eyesight just after birth, but he never let that stop him from becoming involved in sports.

He gives a big thank you to former Evansville University men's head basketball coach Marty Simmons for giving him the opportunity to sit on the bench and be a part of the Aces team. He calls it a life changer.

"Being able to have that experience allowed me to experience sports and be a part of a team."

That opportunity led Weiler to co-found the Beautiful Lives Project. An organization that helps people with disabilities to experience sports, and provides them opportunities they may otherwise not get.

"If a person with a disability is given a chance to do these things, they may be given the chance later in life, to play on their high school or club teams."

Weiler says one of the greatest things lacking for those with disabilities is opportunity. So this week Beautiful Lives Project teamed up with Triple Crown AAU Softball to teach kids and adults the skills of the game.

"Softball is like really tough to hit," says one participant.

While another one of the participants is enjoying learning the game from all the girls.

"I'm learning how to throw it better and to catch it better."

The AAU Softball players and coaches are in Santee this week for a World Series tournament. But getting the opportunity to work with disabled kids and adults is more rewarding than any home run or winning a game.

"It's a chance to give people who don't have as many opportunities as us to give them the chance to do things they don't normally get to do," says Brianna Schapiro of the Valley Stompers.

"It's such a new experience for them, and it's so joyous for our girls to be able to share that," says Valley Stompers head coach Nick Schapiro.

Weiler, who travels around the country coordinating events, says it's a lot more than teaching someone how to throw or hit a softball. It's also about building friendships.

"Really using those friendships to help people with disabilities to break down the barriers and obstacles that they face in their life."