Wilsonville resident finalist for award

Published 11:59 am Monday, May 21, 2012

Adaptive Aquatics owner Joe Ray talks with LNLC students before taking to the water on May 15. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)


WILSONVILLE – A Wilsonville resident was recognized for his service with the disabled community.

Joe Ray, executive director of Adaptive Aquatics, is one of three finalists for the annual SportAccord Spirit of Sports Award.

The International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation nominated Ray, a world champion on the U.S.A disabled water ski team.

Ray said the nationals competition for the next U.S. disabled water ski team will be held in August for the world competition in Italy.

“I’ll have to requalify for the 2013 team,” he said. “I may have one or two more ‘worlds’ in me.”

According to a press release from SportAccord, the annual award recognizes “the commitment and humanitarian spirit of SportAccord members who have made an exceptional and lasting contribution to using sport as a tool for positive social change.”

“It’s for outstanding community service that makes a difference in the community through the use of sports,” Ray said.

In addition to running Adaptive Aquatics and teaching disabled children, adults and veterans to waterski, Ray is a member of the 2011 U.S. Disabled Water Ski Team.

“Basically, people from all over the world were nominated for this award,” he said. “I really didn’t think much about it, but then I got a notification that I was one of three finalists to go to Canada to find out if we win it.”

Ray will travel to Quebec, Canada on May 23 for the 10th annual SportAccord Convention the following day.

“It’s a big deal to be a finalist,” Ray said. “This is pretty big. I was pretty shocked.”

For more information about Adaptive Aquatics, visit Adaptiveaquatics.org.