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About Us

Sports For People With Special Needs

At the heart of RallyCap Sports is our vision of a world where people of all abilities can share in the joy of sports. We believe sports have the power to change the focus from disability to ability and ultimately change lives. At the foundation, our program offers a high quality sports league for children and young adults with special needs to participate in within their community throughout the year.

Our Mission

As chartered members of RallyCap Sports national, our chapter passionately supports the mission of RallyCap Sports:

"to create positive sports environments fostering social integration, healthy living, and greater self-confidence for children and young adults with special needs"

Our Story

When Paul Hooker was coaching a Little League Baseball team one day in 1990, he turned to a little girl in a wheelchair and asked her how she was doing. Frustrated with watching from the sidelines as her brother played, the little girl replied, "this stinks!". That two-word answer sparked a mission to create a program that would enable children and young adults of all abilities to enjoy and participate in sports.

Driven by this newfound philosophy, Paul and his wife Margo began a grass-roots softball league near their hometown in Central New Jersey, called Challenged Youth Sports. Over the years, the small league grew from a single-sport season to a year-round organization with nearly a dozen sports, impacting hundreds of families in the region.

As the 25th anniversary of Challenged Youth Sports approached, a new mission became clear: serve the special needs community on a national scale. In 2014 the organization reinvented itself as RallyCap Sports, and set out to create regional chapters at universities across the nation. RallyCap Sports launched its first chapter at Bowling Green State University, establishing the model for future chapters. 

The RallyFamily

At the center of it all are the heroes - our RallyPlayers! A "RallyPlayer" is a boy or girl age 7 or older, with physical and/or intellectual special needs who participates in RallyCap Sports programs and events. Each RallyPlayer is special in his or her own way and should be treated with respect and dignity. We believe our RallyPlayers can do anything they set their hearts and minds to and it is our mission to provide a place where they feel accepted, loved and supported.

All Are Welcome At RallyCap Sports

At RallyCap Sports we believe children and young adults with special needs should have the opportunity to enjoy sports just like anyone else! Inclusion is at the foundation of everything we do, so we have built a program that everyone can participate in. With a one-on-one dedicated Buddy, special needs sports equipment, and special sports plans our program is specifically designed to include everyone. RallyCap Sports is open to boys and girls, age 7 and older, with special needs of any kind anything that prevents them from playing sports with their peers. We believe our RallyPlayers are special no matter what abilities and needs they have, and together we will build a community where everyone gets to play!

Abilities Not "Disabilities"

In 2014, RallyCap Sports replaced all references to "disabled people" with the term "children and young adults with special needs." This umbrella term is most commonly used in the United States today to refer to an individual who has been diagnosed with a medical or psychological condition that requires specialized assistance. 

At RallyCap Sports, we believe that the use of limiting terminology such as "disabilities" hinders growth and caps expectations. We strive to create an environment in which our RallyPlayers can thrive and are empowered to achieve beyond what is expected of them. Our RallyPlayers often surprise themselves and their parents with the victories they experience in our sports sessions!

Meet the RallyFamily

RallyPlayer: a boy or girl, age 7 or older, with physical and/or intellectual special needs who participates in our RallyCap Sports programs and events.

Buddy: the passionate BGSU student volunteers of the RallyTeam who match up one-on-one with our RallyPlayers. Each Buddy has the unique opportunity to play one-on-one with their new friend during events, often they become a RallyPlayers best Buddy. 

RallyChapter: each branch of RallyCap Sports is referred to as a "RallyChapter". The first expansion chapter began at Bowling Green State University, and we are fondly referred to as the "BGSU RallyChapter".

RallyTeam: the group of passionate BGSU volunteers who work together to provide RallyCap Sports in the Bowling Green community. This team is comprised of mostly students and a few faculty/staff, who come from all corners and backgrounds of the university. The RallyTeam is student led and all members seek to advance the mission and vision of RallyCap Sports.

RallyCore: a group of dedicated BGSU students who manage and serve as leaders of the RallyTeam. This group of students work together to organize events, fundraise, recruit RallyTeam members and RallyPlayers, find RallyPartners, and much more! The "Core" is led by the Chapter Director and is a vital part of a successful RallyChapter.

RallyAdvisor: is the name of the BGSU faculty or staff member who oversees chapter activities as needed.

RallyPartner: any business or business owner that makes a financial or in-kind donation, such as a donation for RallyTeam t-shirts, equipment, or any donation that helps our chapter continue impacting lives.

Meet the 2017-2018 RallyCore

Director: Kelly Faeth

Academic Year: Graduate Student, May 2018

Hometown: Fostoria, Ohio

Major: Master of Special Education in Assistive Technology

Why I Rally: I rally to show everyone how great of an organization this is. I rally for the excitement, the high fives, and the never ending smiles I get to witness. RallyCap Sports offers everyone a chance to be a part of a team that is truly one of a kind.

RallyAdvisor: Mariana Mitova

Hometown: Bowling Green, Ohio

Position: Apparel Merchandising and Product Development Professor

Why I Rally: I rally because I help make many families happy. Participants love our sports and their families love watching them play.

Strategic Development Chair: Lily Alten

Academic Year and Graduation Year: Senior, December 2017

Hometown: Avon, OH

Major: Individualized Studies in Education

Why I Rally:  I rally because I believe that our participants deserve an environment where they feel accepted and love. Seeing the smiles on their faces when they catch a pass or shoot a goal is incredible. The RallyCap participants, parents, and volunteers continue to amaze me with their passion and dedication.

Strategic Development Team Member: Madison Scherer

Position: Strategic Development Team

Academic Year: Sophomore, May 2020

Hometown: Vandalia, Ohio

Major: Inclusive Early Childhood Education

Why I Rally: I rally because I believe all children should be given the opportunity to play sports and games with their friends. Every time I go to a RallyCap event, I learn something new, make new friends, and have fun!

Strategic Development Chair: Brooke Wehrkamp

Academic Year: Senior, May 2018

Hometown: Versailles, OH

Major: Pre-Exercise Science / Occupational Therapy  

Why I Rally: I rally to provide the opportunity for our kids and young adults to partake in sports. The participants never cease to amaze me by what they accomplish with each session, and together we are breaking stereotypes. Their passion and happiness are contagious, and I love being a part of an organization whose sole focus is to bring joy to others.

Strategic Development Team Member: Macy Gregory

Academic Year: Senior

Hometown: Fairfield, Ohio

Major: Marketing

Why I Rally:  I rally because I enjoy being a part of a cause that's much bigger than myself. It's so rewarding to watch these kids grow. I'll never forget the first time one of my players made a basket. Her smile and energy was priceless.

Strategic Development Team Member: Sam Smith

Academic Year: Senior

Hometown: Cincinnat, OH

Major: AMPD

Why I Rally: I rally because I am passionate for these kids to have an equal playing field. 

Outreach Chair: Ashley Franks

Academic Year:



Why I Rally:

Volunteer Coordinator Chair:  Rachael Poling

Academic Year:  Senior

Hometown: Avon, Ohio

Major: Applied Health Science/Pre-Occupational Therapy

Why I Rally:  I want everyone to have the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports regardless of ability.  Some of the participants that partake in RallyCap have never had that chance before.  When our participants come to RallyCap, everyone is on the same playing field and the environment it creates is indescribable.  Seeing a child or young adult make a goal, shoot a basket, or hit a target for the first time in their life creates a feeling you can't put into words. Moments like that are why I rally.

Volunteer Team Member: Morgan Hollandsworth

Academic Year: Junior, May 2019

Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

Major: Communication Sciences and Disorders

Why I Rally: I Rally because I have the amazing opportunity to help young athletes reach their goals. It's am amazing gift to see the smiles that are created by scoring a goal or making a shot. I value these connections and the friendships that are made, and I can't wait for the future! #togetherwerally

Volunteer Team Member: Kiersten Sirowich

Academic Year: Sophomore, 2020

Hometown: Seymour, CT

Major: Communication Disorders

Why I Rally: I rally because it fills my heart with joy when I see my buddy remember my name. I love to be able to work with these kids every Sunday, because not only does it make my week great it fulfills their lives 

Volunteer Team Member: Sam Andress

Academic Year: Senior, 2018

Hometown: Strongsville, Ohio

Major: Sports Management

Why I Rally:  I rally for the smiles. Seeing one of our athletes smile after making a basket or goal is priceless. The athletes are so full of joy and determination It is contagious to everyone in and around RallyCap Sports. You can see it all throughout the volunteers, the Core, the parents, and our community. RallyCap gives these athletes a chance to prove to themselves and everyone around that they are just as capable as anyone else. We break down those boundaries of disabilities and help them achieve their goals. Not only do we teach them how to play sports, but they teach us a lot about life too.

Volunteer Team Member: Hali Dingo

Academic Year: Junior, December 2018

Hometown: Batavia

Major: Human Development and Family Studies

Why I Rally: I Rally because I love being a part of the positivity, inclusivity, and fun that RallyCap brings to RallyPlayers and their families, as well as all of its volunteers. I have personally experienced the joy that comes from playing sports with peers and I am proud to be a part of bringing that joy to people of all abilities. 

Family Relations Chair: Megan Harris

Academic Year: Senior, May 2018

Hometown: Avon, OH

Major: Inclusive Early Childhood Education

Why I Rally: I rally for the people who have made a difference in my life. There is nothing quite as special as RallyCap. From the experiences I've had, to the people I've met, I have been positively impacted. As long as I'm loving what I do, I know that I will have a happy life.  

Family Relations Team: Tiffany Shaffer

Academic year: Senior, December 2017

Hometown: Uniontown

Major: Intervention Service Mild to moderate, Moderate to intensive & Deaf and hard of hearing

Why I Rally: I rally so that every child gets a chance to play sports on the same field as there peers do. Without judgement, without fear and without being ashamed of there ability's. I rally for all of the smiles and high fives that I get to give on Sunday's afternoons.

Family Relations Team: Caroline Kinnison

Academic Year: Junior, 2019

Hometown: Kettering, Ohio

Major: Intervention Specialist

Why I Rally: I rally because I love seeing the excitement and energy of participants when they come to Rally Cap. It is such a wonderful opportunity for each child to learn new skills, make friends and be themselves. So many great things happen at Rally Cap and I love seeing the relationships that form between each child and their buddy! 

Family Relations Team: Hannah Davisson

Academic Year: Senior, Graduating December 2017

Hometown: Troy, Ohio

Major: Intervention Specialist (Mild/Moderate)

Why I Rally: I rally to see the smiles on the participant's faces when they make a goal in soccer, score a basket in basketball, or even learn a new skill. We believe that no one should feel excluded from anything, and we encourage everyone to join and get information on what we have to offer. Seeing the joy that radiates from our buddies faces is the most rewarding things that comes from this incredible program. RallyCap has been nothing but the biggest blessing that I could have ever received, and I want everyone to know how everyone involved is changing the lives of our buddies every single day. 

Operations Chair: Maddie Rutter

Academic Year:  Senior

Hometown: Sylvania, Ohio

Major: Inclusive Early Childhood

Why I Rally:  I rally because seeing all of the participants reactions when they accomplish their goal of shooting a basket or scoring a goal fills my heart with joy. I believe everyone should have the opportunity to play sports where they don't have to worry about being judged or excluded and seeing how proud, excited and thankful these kids are makes it all worthwhile. RallyCaps has become my family and getting to do something I love while helping others feel welcomed to play sports and interact with others is such a blessing.

Operations Team: Mandy Washko

Academic Year:  Senior, December 2018

Hometown: Livonia, Michigan 

Major: Accounting and Finance

Why I Rally: I rally to see the smile on kids' faces every week. I want everybody to have the chance of playing sports no matter what, because sports are an amazing thing. They bring everyone together! 

Operations Team: Griff Saunders

Academic Year: Senior, 2018

Hometown: Worthington, Ohio

Major: Biology with Pre-Medical requisites

Why I Rally: For all the laughs and smiles I get to see each week.

Operations Team: Nick Schroeder

Academic Year: Junior, 2019

Hometown: Glandorf, OH

Major: Sports Management

Why I Rally: I rally because I firmly believe every kid should be able to get equal opportunities, regardless of their disabilities. It is a great feeling to be able to be there for kids who really appreciate you. The kids learn a lot from me but I learn even more from them.  

Finance Chair: Jenny Dietz

Academic Year:  Senior, May 2018

Hometown: Hinckley, OH

Major: Dual intervention Specialist

Why I Rally: I rally for the excitement and acceptance that every RallyPlayer experiences when they participate in RallyCap. I love seeing how much our athletes grow throughout each season. The more I work with these athletes, the more they amaze me with their never-ending abilities and strength.

Finance Team: Samantha Gronow

Academic Year: Senior, December 2018

Hometown: Louisville, Ohio

Major: Information Systems and Business Analytics & Intelligence

Why I Rally: I rally to give participants the same feeling of accomplishment I receive when I participate in sports. RallyCap has taught me that we all have similar ambitions in life and all deserve the same opportunity to compete and have fun.

Photographer/Multi-Media Chair: Nathan Schroeder

Academic Year:  Senior

Hometown: Glandorf, OH

Major: Visual Communication Technology

Why I Rally: I rally because, throughout my life, I've received endless support for whatever I wanted to do, and I believe that these participants deserve the same.

Multi-Media Team: Morgan Florman

Academic Year: Junior, May 2019

Hometown: Cleveland, OH

Major: Marketing and Management

Why I Rally: I rally for the smiles, the laughs, and because everyone deserves to experience the feeling of scoring a goal, making a basket, and participating in sports regardless of whether or not they have special needs.

Multi-Media Team: Jessica Toth

Academic Year: Sophomore, May 2020

Hometown: Manchester, OH

Major: Marine Biology

Why I Rally: I rally to show that all kids with special needs are able to do anything they want no matter their disability!

To learn more about RallyCap Sports, who we are and what we do, please visit the national website at

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