2022 AAASP ASPIRE Awards

The American Association of Adapted Sports Programs (AAASP) ASPIRE Awards (Adapted Sports Programs in Recreation and Education) honor individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions in contributing to the physical, social, and intellectual well-being of children and adolescents with physical disabilities and impairments through the power of athletics.

AAASP ASPIRE Award winners are chosen through an application process. Nominations will be accepted until August 1, 2022.  Nominees will be announced in August 2022.

This year's ASPIRE Awards banquet will be held Sunday, October 23, 2022 – location to be announced shortly. All nominees will be recognized and the winners will be announced during the awards banquet.

An ASPIRE award recognizes the significant contributions of individuals and organizations that have been central to the mission of making adapted sports programming available to children with physical disabilities. Through these programs, student athletes with physical disabilities across the state reap the physical, social, emotional and academic benefits of competitive athletics resulting in personal and social empowerment.

The ASPIRE award was established to recognize those who support and advocate on behalf of adapted sports. The award showcases those who stand as role models; individuals, companies and organizations that have taken a proactive and innovative path in support of competitive sports programs for student athletes with physical disabilities.

2022 ASPIRE Award Nominations are currently open for the following categories:
  • Advocacy Award
    • Individual or organization - Presented to an individual who has demonstrated exceptional efforts toward the needs and rights of individuals with disabilities.
  • Education-based Award
    • Group, Team or OrganizationSchool or School District Program. Presented to those groups who have demonstrated excellence and/or outstanding achievement in establishing, expanding or sustaining adapted sports programming in their school community.
  • Community-based Award
    • Group, Team or Organization (Recreation Department, YMCA, Club program, or other) - Presented to those groups who have demonstrated excellence and/or outstanding achievement in establishing, expanding or sustaining adapted sports programming in their community.
  • Media Award
    • News Organization or Individual - Presented to an individual or news organization that provides conscientious coverage and visibility to AAASP’s sports leagues (should be active working media – Radio, TV, Newspaper, magazine, film writers, producers, online bloggers, anchors, etc.)
  • Gail Hendricks Volunteerism Award
    • Individual - Presented to an individual or organization that has demonstrated exceptional efforts in support of AAASP’s sports league.
  • Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year Award
    • Individual - Presented to a male athlete that has demonstrated exceptional efforts and leadership qualities in the AAASP’s sports league.
  • Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year Award
    • Individual - Presented to a female athlete that has demonstrated exceptional efforts and leadership qualities in the AAASP’s sports league.
  • High School Senior Athlete Award
    • Individual - Presented to a Senior in High School that has demonstrated exceptional efforts and leadership qualities in the AAASP’s sports league.
  • Coach of the Year Award
    • Individual
  • Leslie Sweatman Official of the Year Award
    • Individual

2022 ASPIRE Award Nomination Form

Please fill out a new submission form for each unique ASPIRE Award nomination. Email Terri Grunduski at terri@grunduskigroup.com with any questions or for more info on the nomination process.

The ASPIRE Awards Hall of Fame:

  • Dr. Jenny Millward, Advocacy Award/Houston County Sharks
  • Monica White, Advocacy Award/DeKalb Silver Streaks
  • Will Hammock, Media “Hero” Award/Gwinnet Daily Post
  • Jimmy Roberts, Coach of The Year Award/Atlanta Wolfpack
  • Gliding Stars, Community-Based Program Award/University at Buffalo
  • Rene Langlois, Gail Hendrick Volunteerism Award/Houston County Sharks
  • Kendrick Newton, High School Senior Athlete Award/Henry County Hurricanes
  • Mason McCartney, High School Senior Athlete Award/West Georgia Wolverines
  • Willie Long, Leslie Sweatman Official of The Year Award
  • Abby Simmons, Outstanding Female Athlete of The Year Award/West Georgia Wolverines
  • Kathy Luna, Outstanding Female Athlete of The Year Award/Gwinnett Heat
  • Juan Nava, Outstanding Male Athlete of The Year Award/Clayton County Eagles
  • Seth Earley, Outstanding Male Athlete of The Year Award/Gwinnett Heat
  • Gwinnett HEAT, School-Based Program Award
  • Ron Lykins, Founder’s Award/University of Missouri
  • Jan Seaman, Founder’s Award/Retired AAPAR and AAALF Director
  • Jan Lauten, Founder’s Award/Retired Decatur YMCA Executive Director
  • Onie Lawson, Founder’s Award/Retired APS Teacher
  • Terri Grunduski, Founder’s Award/Grunduski Group
  • Bev Vaughn, Lifetime Achievement Award/AAASP