We are Sportable—a TEAM that is small but mighty! We are the TEAM that is always finding ways to create accessible opportunities for our athletes to engage in the abundance of sports opportunities available in our community—it may require some creative solutions but we are ready for the challenge!
Our main goal is to free our athletes to see beyond their disabilities. We feel strongly that sports are just the catalyst needed for individuals with physical disabilities to create that support system that is needed to reduce social isolation.
Each member of our team, which includes our athletes, parents, volunteers, board, and partners believes that Sportable exists to facilitate a change needed in our community—looking beyond one’s physical limitation and empowering them to focus on their abilities!
The great thing about the work we do is the inspirational stories we have to tell about our athletes—whether it be sinking their 1st basket in wheelchair basketball, the smiles on their face when they score a goal in power soccer, their amazement as they refine that serve or kayaking roll, even simply the sense of accomplishment they feel in hand cycling 26.2 miles. We come to work each day to see our athletes transform both on and off the courts!
Kristen Lessig, CTRS
Kristen Lessig, the Executive Director, gives this organization its face. Anyone who knows Kristen knows what determination, stamina, never say never “looks” like—just read it in her face. This woman is a mom of a toddler, a soccer wife, and an athlete who shows up every day ready, Chai latte in one hand while scrolling / texting on her iPhobe and answering emails on her computer with the other, almost simultaneously. Seeing is believing on this one.
Hers is a game face, always prepared to spread the good word of Sportable. She encourages, cajoles, and manages no fewer than 9 things at once. Did we mention she is tough under fire? Once while meeting with some difficult funders, she found the room not set up and the AV not functioning. She calmly pushed ahead offering her presentation from her computer. Lights dimmed all eyes on her, she hit the video play button and the room filled with the visual and audio of “I Gotta Go” potty training video. Deal made! Yep, she’s that tough.
Kristen’s calm exterior hides a really large heart. She believes wholly in this organization, its athletes, and its extended family of supporters with her really big heart. She’s our lead and our leader. We respond by bringing our best to the office and playing field-its pretty much GAME ON every day!
Cat is from the great city of RVA and is excited to share her passion and experience with Sportable! Cat first learned about the inspirational programming of Sportable when she volunteered at a wheelchair rock climbing event while she was in college. She instantly fell in love with the organization and its mission.
Years later, while exploring and hiking in Nepal, she heard Sportable was hiring and applied as fast as the Nepalese internet could transmit. Cat has over 10 years of programming and recreation experience and has worked in nonprofits throughout the US (including a tiny island in Alaska)! She is psyched to join the Sportable team as the Operations Director.
When she is not at the office or programming, you can find her on the James kayaking rapids, eating at foodie restaurants, daydreaming of traveling to an exotic country, brewing a tasty treat, or spending time with her amazing friends and family.
Program and PR Director
Kerry originally came on board with Sportable in September 2013. Sportable has been Kerry’s first experience with the world of adapted sports and she has quickly fallen in love with it! As a former intercollegiate athlete and a certified youth soccer coach, Kerry is extremely passionate about athletics and the positive and empowering effect it can have on participants of all backgrounds. She absolutely loves witnessing Sportable athletes push their limits and accomplish what many would believe to be impossible!
Kerry loves traveling and taking spontaneous weekend road trips up and down the East Coast visiting friends and family. She also spent a semester abroad in Budapest, Hungary, where she indulged in some of the best food of her life – if you ask her about it she won’t be able to stop raving! She loves trying new kinds of cuisines and discovering local food hot-spots.
When out at Sportable programming and events you can find Kerry whipping out her iPhone and camera taking pictures and videos at seemingly strange angles to post to our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube accounts. While in the office she can almost always be caught behind at least two screens at once between her desktop, laptop, iPhone and camera!
Mary Catherine Taylor
Part-Time Administrative Assistant
Running a tight ship in the office, Mary Catherine is not only the Administrative Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator, but she is also one of our athletes. She loves working for the other athletes in our organization by keeping things running smoothly here at the office.
She loves to play tennis every chance she gets. Kayaking, Road Racing, and Horseback riding are other sports she enjoys. She is a native of Virginia and growing up in the southern part of Virginia she seems to have picked up a little bit of a southern drawl. You may notice it if you call the office.
She has two beautiful girls, plus a wonderful and understanding husband. She has been “rolling” along for about 25 years now, so not too much slows her down.
Although Johns’ official tile is Equipment Manger his real title is more like equipment manager, mover, finder, repairer, delivery man, van driver, all-purpose assistant, inventory specialist, and generally a jack-of-all trades for whatever Sportable needs help with.
John joined the Sportable family after a 25 year career in the U.S. Army with most of those years spent as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Specialist. Initially, he participated as an athlete taking part in kayaking, rowing, cycling and wheelchair racing; he has since became a volunteer/staff member and helps out whenever he can. When not spending time with his wife and daughter or helping out Sportable or participating in one of their programs he enjoys fly fishing and kayaking on the James River.
Part-Time Director of Finance
Bill has a few decades of experience in accounting and finance, which is why we have him around although not physically that much. You see Bill hails from the Hill City (Lynchburg) and works his trade over the internet. He came to us a few years ago as a program participant and grew his involvement. His belief in Sportable comes from his personal experience in adaptive sports. Competitive by nature but not having participated in sports since a teenager, the barrier to adaptive sports were many for this wannabe athlete. It really came down to equipment and coaching for which a solution was difficult to find until happening upon Sportable. Here he says, he had the opportunity to try many sports until finally settling in on his favorite of handcycling. Now you can find Bill on many weekends for 9 months of the year racing somewhere on the East Coast. Along with training, he enjoys time with his wife and two labs and visiting their 3 grown children.