Sports

In Westfield, Lightning Wheels Paralympic Athletes Reach for Their Goals

April 24, 2014 at 11:23 PM

WESTFIELD, NJ – Nine year-old Sarah Maher is a busy girl. She takes piano lessons, participates in Brownies, swims, plays baseball in the Buddy Ball league and, on Thursday nights, takes to the field at Kehler Stadium in Westfield to practice track and field events with Lightning Wheels, a paralympic sports club sponsored by Children’s Specialized Hospital.

“I like making new friends and having fun with them, and connecting as a team,” said the Franklin Elementary School third grader of Lightning Wheels.

Maher, who has spina bifida, is one of about 30 athletes between the ages of five and 22 in the club, which accepts children and young adults who have a primary diagnosis of a physical disability.

Sign Up for E-News

At Thursday’s practice, Maher and her mother Karen said she is trying to qualify in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m wheelchair race events so she can attend the National Junior Disability Championships to be held this July in Iowa.

She has already qualified for NJDC in several swimming events and is eager to take the bus with her teammates to the competition.

“Swimming is my favorite sport,” said Maher, who swims during the winter with Lightning Wheels at an indoor facility in Cranford.

Among the club’s goals are increasing independence and self-esteem of an athlete with a disability, improving an individual’s physical skills through instruction and varied activities and developing a peer group for the athlete and her family.

Head coach Trisha Yurochko expects the athletes to attend practice regularly and to qualify for national competition in six events.

“It’s opened up new worlds for them,” she said.

Stephen Koziel, a 17 year-old high school junior from Kearny who has spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, was focused and fast on Thursday as he zipped around the track, arms pumping, in his chair.

“My main goal is to go to the Rio Paralympics in 2016,” he said after his workout.

To do this, Koziel knows he needs to improve his times, expose himself to national coaches and get his name recognized on a wider stage.

Koziel, who also swims with Lightning Wheels and does shot put, javelin and discus, is dedicating his Eagle Scout project to raising awareness of Paralympic sports. He says the club has taught him that “if you put your mind to something, nobody can stop you from doing what you want to do.”

For nine year-old Kiko Mina of Lake Hopatcong, the best part of practice is running around the track. He loves being outside and seeing his friends.
 
"I like running. I practice a lot," said Mina, who had multiple brain surgeries as a baby to cure a seizure disorder.

His dad, Joseph, sees many benefits to Lightning Wheels.

"Aside from the social aspect of it, it gets him to burn all the energy he has," he said.

On Saturday, April 26, Lisa Natale, owner of Michele’s on Prospect, will hold a fundraiser to benefit Lightning Wheels.

With the help of a group of Maher's older sister’s classmates, Natale has organized a parents-versus-kids basketball game at 11 am at Franklin. Participants are invited to have breakfast on the house at Michele’s beginning at 10 a.m., and then are invited back for a free lunch after the game. Several Lightning Wheels members will be at the deli-cafe, near the school at 760 Prospect Street in Westfield, and donations are welcome.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

Bullets and Bricks Hit Roselle Officials' Properties but Mayor Treads Cautiously About a Link

January 14, 2017

ROSELLE, NJ – Authorities have “no hard evidence” that bricks thrown at Mayor Christine Dansereau’s house and that of a former council member on Jan. 12, were related to gunshots fired on the same morning.

Dansereau, on Saturday, gave an update on the incidents in which bricks were thrown at her house and the house of former Roselle Councilwoman Sylvia Turnage.

Conversion of Single Family Zoning to Multi-Family Zoning Could Start 'Gold Rush' of Development

January 14, 2017

Dear Editor,

I am writing to oppose the construction of a multi-family residence (6 residential units) at 1481 East Broad Street in Westfield.  The construction of a multi-family residence at this location (RS-12 zone district) is contradictory to the township’s 2005 Master Plan, which has zoned this district for single-family home construction only.  Additionally, it requires ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_8e9ae10a5456b131893e_98807d78d9cdbb13e5e6_march

Mon, January 16, 12:30 PM

Catholic Church of the Holy Trinity , Westfield

MLK Memorial Service and March

Religions And Spirituality

Tue, January 17, 4:00 PM

WESTFIELD

2nd Gifted and Talented Test Prep Course

Education

Westfield Police Blotter: Shoplifting, Drug-Related Arrest & More

January 12, 2017

January 4, 2017 6:23 p.m.

Pietro Maioriello, age 20, of Scotch Plains, NJ, was arrested for possession a controlled dangerous substance under 50 grams pursuant to a motor vehicle stop. Subject was processed and released on a summons.

January 4, 2017 9:21 p.m.

Stephen Thomas, age 21, of Plainfield, NJ, was arrested on the strength of two outstanding warrants for his arrest from Highland ...

Wardlaw-Hartridge Community Enjoys Winning Winter Games

January 16, 2017

All three Wardlaw-Hartridge varsity winter teams prevailed at the third annual Winter Games on Jan. 6. Students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni and friends attended the event, which was run by the Booster Club.

Junior Priya Golding of North Plainfield led the girls’ basketball team to its first victory of the season, scoring 19 points to fuel a 33-14 win over East Brunswick ...

5 Questions to Ask at an Open House

When you go to your next open house, ask the listing agent these key questions to help you make an informed decision. When a property is hot, a public open house may be your best opportunity for due diligence before submitting an offer. While the hosting agent may not be able to answer all of your questions, there is a lot you can learn.

1. How long has it been on the market?  You may ...

Today’s Bond Market - Should I Stay or Should I Go?

2016’s final days left bond investors unsettled.

Just a few months ago, with the backdrop of the surprise July Brexit vote, U.S. Treasury yields hit record lows. Donald Trump’s election as president has increased concerns of a new round of tax cuts and greater government spending, which could stimulate inflation. The Federal Reserve has finally raised interest rates and is ...

It Even Happened to Me

Beware of credit card fraud — it can happen to anyone.

I was shopping at a retail establishment over the holidays and purchased some items with my business credit card. The next day, I was downloading my credit card activity into QuickBooks and spotted some strange charges - they were not large amounts, but they originated from establishments I don't frequent, like ...

Video: Mistreated, Harassed, Abused, Discriminated Against or Retaliated Against at Work?

Have you been mistreated, harassed, abused, discriminated against or retaliated against by your employer?

Watch this video to learn how Westfield employment attorney Fred Shahrooz-Scampato, who for the last 25 years has aggressively represented employees, can help you.

If you are the victim of prejudice or spend every day in a hostile work environment, you can give him a call for ...

Westfield Students & Parents Learn Positive Steps in Navigating the Digital World

How much screen time is too much?  More than 1,500 Westfield intermediate school students probed the answer to that question this week in grade level assemblies arranged by their counselors. In a film called "Screenagers," sixth, seventh and eighth graders at Edison and Roosevelt Intermediate Schools were shown examples of how excessive digital use can impact school, family ...

Westfield Area YMCA is Ready to 'Bring on Summer'

It may be cold outside but the Westfield Area YMCA is gearing up for summer camp!  In-person registration is now underway.  Each year campers ages 3-15 try new activities, learn new skills, get creative, have a blast and make new friends in a safe environment.

 

 

The Y is excited to offer new S.T.E.A.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) ...

Holy Trinity School Spotlight - 6th Grade

Sixth grade is a transitional year for students as they enter middle school.  Holy Trinity School embraces this change through its continued commitment to creating an environment in which its students can grow and develop academically, socially, and spiritually. 

In sixth grade, the curriculum becomes more departmentalized with students rotating classes for various subjects and ...

Cat Missing from Fanwood Home

Shadow has been missing from vicinity of Russell Road, Fanwood since Dec. 26. Shadow is a timid, long-hair gray male, about 6 years old. He may have been spotted on Fairacres Avenue in Westfield Tuesday.

Call 908-294-0340 with any information. 

Police Identify Body Found as Missing Woodland Park Senior

January 14, 2017

WOODLAND PARK, NJ - Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and Woodland Park Police Chief Anthony Galietti announced earlier that the identify of a deceased man found in Woodland Park on Jan. 13 was Thomas Kozell, 85, of Woodland Park. 

Kozell, 85, had been reported missing by his family in the evening on Jan. 12, ...

Bullets and Bricks Hit Roselle Officials' Properties but Mayor Treads Cautiously About a Link

January 14, 2017

ROSELLE, NJ – Authorities have “no hard evidence” that bricks thrown at Mayor Christine Dansereau’s house and that of a former council member on Jan. 12, were related to gunshots fired on the same morning.

Dansereau, on Saturday, gave an update on the incidents in which bricks were thrown at her house and the house of former Roselle Councilwoman Sylvia Turnage.

Conversion of Single Family Zoning to Multi-Family Zoning Could Start 'Gold Rush' of Development

January 14, 2017

Dear Editor,

I am writing to oppose the construction of a multi-family residence (6 residential units) at 1481 East Broad Street in Westfield.  The construction of a multi-family residence at this location (RS-12 zone district) is contradictory to the township’s 2005 Master Plan, which has zoned this district for single-family home construction only.  Additionally, it requires ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_8e9ae10a5456b131893e_98807d78d9cdbb13e5e6_march

Mon, January 16, 12:30 PM

Catholic Church of the Holy Trinity , Westfield

MLK Memorial Service and March

Religions And Spirituality

Tue, January 17, 4:00 PM

WESTFIELD

2nd Gifted and Talented Test Prep Course

Education

Westfield Police Blotter: Shoplifting, Drug-Related Arrest & More

January 12, 2017

January 4, 2017 6:23 p.m.

Pietro Maioriello, age 20, of Scotch Plains, NJ, was arrested for possession a controlled dangerous substance under 50 grams pursuant to a motor vehicle stop. Subject was processed and released on a summons.

January 4, 2017 9:21 p.m.

Stephen Thomas, age 21, of Plainfield, NJ, was arrested on the strength of two outstanding warrants for his arrest from Highland ...

Wardlaw-Hartridge Community Enjoys Winning Winter Games

January 16, 2017

All three Wardlaw-Hartridge varsity winter teams prevailed at the third annual Winter Games on Jan. 6. Students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni and friends attended the event, which was run by the Booster Club.

Junior Priya Golding of North Plainfield led the girls’ basketball team to its first victory of the season, scoring 19 points to fuel a 33-14 win over East Brunswick ...

5 Questions to Ask at an Open House

When you go to your next open house, ask the listing agent these key questions to help you make an informed decision. When a property is hot, a public open house may be your best opportunity for due diligence before submitting an offer. While the hosting agent may not be able to answer all of your questions, there is a lot you can learn.

1. How long has it been on the market?  You may ...

Today’s Bond Market - Should I Stay or Should I Go?

2016’s final days left bond investors unsettled.

Just a few months ago, with the backdrop of the surprise July Brexit vote, U.S. Treasury yields hit record lows. Donald Trump’s election as president has increased concerns of a new round of tax cuts and greater government spending, which could stimulate inflation. The Federal Reserve has finally raised interest rates and is ...

It Even Happened to Me

Beware of credit card fraud — it can happen to anyone.

I was shopping at a retail establishment over the holidays and purchased some items with my business credit card. The next day, I was downloading my credit card activity into QuickBooks and spotted some strange charges - they were not large amounts, but they originated from establishments I don't frequent, like ...

Video: Mistreated, Harassed, Abused, Discriminated Against or Retaliated Against at Work?

Have you been mistreated, harassed, abused, discriminated against or retaliated against by your employer?

Watch this video to learn how Westfield employment attorney Fred Shahrooz-Scampato, who for the last 25 years has aggressively represented employees, can help you.

If you are the victim of prejudice or spend every day in a hostile work environment, you can give him a call for ...

Westfield Students & Parents Learn Positive Steps in Navigating the Digital World

How much screen time is too much?  More than 1,500 Westfield intermediate school students probed the answer to that question this week in grade level assemblies arranged by their counselors. In a film called "Screenagers," sixth, seventh and eighth graders at Edison and Roosevelt Intermediate Schools were shown examples of how excessive digital use can impact school, family ...

Westfield Area YMCA is Ready to 'Bring on Summer'

It may be cold outside but the Westfield Area YMCA is gearing up for summer camp!  In-person registration is now underway.  Each year campers ages 3-15 try new activities, learn new skills, get creative, have a blast and make new friends in a safe environment.

 

 

The Y is excited to offer new S.T.E.A.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) ...

Holy Trinity School Spotlight - 6th Grade

Sixth grade is a transitional year for students as they enter middle school.  Holy Trinity School embraces this change through its continued commitment to creating an environment in which its students can grow and develop academically, socially, and spiritually. 

In sixth grade, the curriculum becomes more departmentalized with students rotating classes for various subjects and ...

Cat Missing from Fanwood Home

Shadow has been missing from vicinity of Russell Road, Fanwood since Dec. 26. Shadow is a timid, long-hair gray male, about 6 years old. He may have been spotted on Fairacres Avenue in Westfield Tuesday.

Call 908-294-0340 with any information. 

Police Identify Body Found as Missing Woodland Park Senior

January 14, 2017

WOODLAND PARK, NJ - Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and Woodland Park Police Chief Anthony Galietti announced earlier that the identify of a deceased man found in Woodland Park on Jan. 13 was Thomas Kozell, 85, of Woodland Park. 

Kozell, 85, had been reported missing by his family in the evening on Jan. 12, ...