Our Impact

The Disabled Athlete Sports Association (DASA) is where people with physical disabilities come to meet, compete, and find their winning edge in sports and in life. Our donor-supported adaptive sports & fitness programs empower DASA athletes to set all kinds of big, audacious goals and train hard to achieve them.

Since 1997, DASA’s comprehensive adaptive training and sports programs have enhanced our athletes abilities to gain strength, endurance, increased motor skills, confidence, and improved emotional well-being. During DASA’s 25-years of operations we’ve supported athlete empowerment by increasing their physical abilities to benefit from the positive impact of having an active lifestyle. Many DASA athletes have gone on to become skilled recreational, competitive, and paralympic athletes.

We’ve supported athlete empowerment by enhancing their ABILITIES and benefit from the positive impact of an active life.

DASA Impact

By the Numbers

The positive results of participating in DASA’s adaptive sports programs are far-reaching and affect physical health, emotional well-being, social engagement, economic status, and overall quality of life.

Approximately 21 million Americans, including military veterans, have a physical disability; 38.2% suffer from obesity and 16.3% become diabetic. Research shows that daily physical activity and the power of sport enhances self-esteem and peer relationships and results in increased achievement and better health, enabling a higher quality of life. DASA sees these same results in thousands of athletes – it is what motivates us every day to support and empower our athletes!

DASA continues our efforts to reach more people who would benefit of our programming. In addition to our established programming in St. Louis County and Mid-Missouri, we’re continuing to expand program offerings in St. Louis City.

Through DASA adaptive sports programs, our athletes gain the highest level of independence and build camaraderie, self-esteem, a sense of belonging, and accomplishment that helps them grow into healthier, happier, and more independent people.

3,000+athletes and families DASA has served since our founding in 1997.
98%of DASA athletes report an increase in their overall health and well-being.
98%of individuals report increasing their overall strength and endurance thanks to participation in DASA sport and fitness programs.
91%of program participants report improved self-esteem.
90%of DASA athletes report engaging in the recommended amount of physical activity suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and other health agencies (60 minutes/day for youth; 120 minutes/week for adults).
85%of individuals new to DASA programs report that they are exercising more than they did one year ago.
80%of program participants report increased independence.
80%of respondents’ family members report being less enabling or codependent.
60%of program participants said that skills learned in DASA programs caused them to see improvements in school/work performance.

Physical Health

Athletes who participate in DASA programs report overall improved physical health, improved strength and endurance and improved mobility skills. For example, ability gained on the court can make it easier to get out of bed, be active in the community, and be independent in daily living.

Social & Emotional Health

DASA emphasizes the importance of participation in sports to teach individuals to set personal goals, improve self-advocacy, and develop a stronger sense of purpose. We also believe that being successful in sport teaches parents that their child or loved one is ABLE rather than focusing on their challenges. DASA foundationally builds a sense of family and bonding through shared experiences among individuals with physical disabilities.

Adaptive Sports Benefits

A 2018 Harris Interactive study of more than 1,000 adults with disabilities showed that adaptive sports participants have higher employment rates and are happier with higher socialization than those who do not participate in adaptive sports.

Those participating in a Disabled Sports USA –Move United program, such as DASA, were more likely to:

  • Be employed (52% vs. 33%).
  • Be more physically active (64% vs. 30%).
  • Lead a healthy lifestyle (52% vs. 25%).
  • Lead a fulfilling life (72% vs. 46%).
  • Enjoy socializing more (80% vs. 70%).
  • Look forward to the rest of their life (81% vs. 61%).

What it Means to be a U.S. Paralympic Affiliated Club

The U.S. Paralympics, which supports Paralympic affiliated clubs like DASA, has been  inspiring Americans with physical disabilities to achieve their dreams of Paralympic success through educational opportunities and sports, such as snow skiing, cycling, track and field, powerlifting, and swimming.

DASA is proud of our Paralympic legacy, having supported multiple Paralympic athletes through their training and competition.

Learn more about our Paralympians here

Help Us Continue to Make an Impact

Support from individuals and organizations within the community allow DASA to continue to provide an unmatched experience for our DASA athletes by expanding program offerings, securing facilities, purchasing new equipment, and creating an environment that builds strength, self-confidence, courage, independence, and a supportive social network.

Click here to support DASA today!

We would love to learn more about your fitness needs and how DASA can help, please do not hesitate to reach out!

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Become a DASA Athlete

The first step in becoming a new DASA athlete is to click on the link below and complete our form.

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