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American Association of Adapted Sports Programs (AAASP) honors two former GCPS educators with 2022 ASPIRE Award

October 28, 2022

     The American Association of Adapted Sports Programs, Inc. (AAASP) recognized 47 key people and organizations for their outstanding contributions to support student athletes with physical disabilities to get “off the sidelines and into the game.” Mike Emery, former Gwinnett County Public Schools athletic and activities director, and AAASP Area Coordinator; and Janie Thompson Avant, retired Gwinnett County Public Schools teacher to special needs populations, former Paralympic coach and founder of the Atlanta Disabled Sports Foundation, received the American Association of Adapted Sports Programs’ Founders Awards. Mr. Emery and Ms. Thompson Avant were among the 20 Recipients honored at this year’s ASPIRE Awards.

     The Fourth Annual ASPIRE Awards Celebration, emceed by radio personality and program director Dennis Winslow with special guest speaker, 2-time Paralympian Karin Korb, was held Sunday, October 23 at Maggiano’s Little Italy. The Adapted Sports Programs in Recreation and Education (ASPIRE) Award recognizes the significant contributions of these individuals and organizations that have been central to the mission of making adapted sports programming available nationwide. Through these programs, student athletes with physical disabilities across the country reap the physical, social, emotional, and academic benefits of competitive athletics, resulting in personal and social empowerment. Check out the full listing here:

     The American Association of Adapted Sports Programs (AAASP), headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., is a not-for-profit association dedicated to developing interscholastic adapted sports programs in partnership with national, state, and local educational agencies. It represents a standardized approach to extracurricular adapted team sports and has developed one of the nation's most comprehensive school-based athletic programs for students with physical disabilities attending elementary, middle, and high school.