CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) - This is more than your average summer camp. The University of Illinois hosted its annual wheelchair track camp, where participants learned more than racing.

"Educate and create opportunities with the idea, and hope that it will equip them with skills they'll take with them for the rest of their life. To be healthy, active, and fit human beings," coach Adam Bleakney told WAND News.
 
Participants range from 12 to 19 years old,  getting the full experience at U of I. For a week they stay in dorms, eat college food, explore the campus, and mentored by college and professional athletes.
 
Two-time Olympic world champion Daniel Romanchuk says his experience at the camp at age 13 was life changing.
 
"I think it also open your eyes to potential next steps and or what your future could look like. I didn't have too many other opportunities to get with a group of athletes that I could train with. Just having that group was amazing," said Daniel Romanchuk.
 
The summer camp brings people from all over the country.
 
"This is a part of that mission and that is opening our doors to students from across the country. We have representation from all over the country this week at camp," said Bleakney.
 
Coach Adam Bleakney has been doing this since 2005. He says being able to see his athletes become mentors keeps him going.
 
"Probably more important is to watch our student athletes serve as mentors, educators, and coaches. It's a really rewarding and virtuous cycle," Bleakney shared.
 
U of I will begin their wheelchair basketball camp June 29th through July 3rd. To learn more about the camps at U of I visit Illinois Wheelchair Basketball Camp | Disability Resources & Educational Services - University of Illinois .
 
 

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