EAST LANSING, Mich. — The Spartan wheelchair floorball team is headed to Switzerland to compete in the Swiss Wheely Open.
"This is our first tournament back playing internationally since 2019, when we went to the Netherlands to represent Team USA. So this will be our second time around. And we're excited to build on what we did in 2019," said Piotr Pasik, an instructor for the Michigan State University Department of Kinesiology.
Though they are excited to be the only team representing the United States, the feeling they get from playing means so much more.
"It's good exercise. It's good stress relief. It's good camaraderie with your teammates," said Pasik. "A lot of people with, particularly physical disabilities, they tend to lead a sedentary lifestyle, which may put them at a higher risk for secondary health conditions. So getting exercise in this way is is very good, particularly for this population."
Pasik was born with cerebral palsy, so having an inclusive sport means everything to him.
"Just because someone sees a disability that's visible by via wheelchair and the other means there is still the rest of their humanity that's there," said Justin Scott, who plays as the team's defenseman. "I think it's really good to actually acknowledge each other's humanity and what we're good and not so good at, because there's going to be a lot of people both here at the university, and internationally who when we come down to this court, we're all equals in the sense."