PMHS students raise money to increase accessibility to Pelham sports


PMHS students Madison and Benjy Schneider are raising money to make Pelham sports more accessible through the creation of a new initiative, Athletes Helping Athletes. 

The students drew inspiration from a friend seeking an opportunity to play sports, and knew they wanted to get involved to bring change to the Pelham athletics community. “We originally got involved because of our close friend and neighbor, Daniel Avolio. We wanted to give him further opportunities to play sports with his friends from our community,” said Benjy. “This gave us the motivation to create an all encompassing event in which children of all abilities were able to come together to play sports and enjoy one another’s company.”  

In 2016, Daniel’s family mentioned the lack of inclusion in Pelham sports to the students, and both Benjy and Madison were frustrated that no one was doing anything to change this. Athletes Helping Athletes was created in order to help Daniel and others play sports alongside friends, said Madison. 

According to Benjy, Athletes Helping Athletes are currently trying to acquire a sledge to allow for all children to ice skate along with other Pelham athletes, regardless of ability. “The sledge will allow children with lower body difficulties/weakness to have the opportunity to skate/play hockey, as they would otherwise be unable to do so,” said Madison. 

Madison said they are currently planning for a Zoom yoga fundraiser and an ice skating event to celebrate the new sleds in the winter, if it is safe to do so.

Athletes Helping Athletes’ stated goal is to advocate for children with disabilities. They will continue to fundraise and hold events to create awareness.