The mission of the Rio Rancho Road Runners
is to promote a vision of inclusion based on an understanding that the intrinsic value of an individual cannot and should not be determined by one's outward appearance. This is true even in cases involving competitive acts of athletic performance. People with physical impairments are as capable of being true athletes as people who are not disabled. This is because being an elite athlete is driven by one's overall makeup, competitiveness, mindfulness and desire to excel. That's why watching a wheelchair basketball game played by elite athletes, whether or not the athlete has a physical impairment, is exciting and fun.
So, how do we promote this "vision of inclusion"? By carrying out the Rio Rancho Road Runners model business plan. Rio Rancho Road Runners was established as a limited liability corporation on October 4, 2016. Since then, we have continuedf to develop a plan for the promotion of professional wheelchair basketball that can be replicated anywhere in the country. In addition to that, we have secured commitments from a small private group of investors of ETH, a form of digital currency valued, as of January 9, 2018, at about $600,000. So, we are ready to roll with a plan that will begin with four programs: (1) a Youth Wheelchair Basketball League, (2) open adult pick up games, (3) open 3-on-3 league, and (4) boot camp for NWBA eligible players who want to join a team that will petition for tournament play in the NWBA Division II, beginning in the 2018 -- 2019 season.
Our model business plan is based on several core concepts:
(1) Business, not charity. Changing our society to the point where athletes with physical impairments can have the same social status as professional athletes, who historically (with notable exceptions) have not had significant physical impairments, will require that we no longer rely on charitable foundations. Instead, we must emulate the successful business models of professional sports teams, such as teams in the National Basketball Association;
(2) Community engagement with an attitude. In order to be supported by Rio Rancho's community, we need to support Rio Rancho. We cannot succeed unless our community wants us to succeed. This is the lesson we draw from past failed attempts to form a local professional sports team. Cultivating an attitude about forming meaningful human connections and social networking is not merely an altruistic platitude, it is, in our view, a sound business practice;
(3) ChairBall for All. If we are to successfully market our team's programs, we must have wheelchair basketball programs suitable for different age groups and and which provide opportunities for everyone who wants to play, disabled or not. Face it. People who aren't allowed to play in the game won't pay to see the game. If the organizers of the sport of soccer required that all players have physical arm impairments how long do you think that sport would continue to flourish on a professional level? Probably not long, right? That's because fans like to fantasize about being in the game. There are two basic differences between soccer and wheelchair basketball. In soccer, players forfeit the use of their arms. In wheelchair basketball, players forfeit the use of their legs. Soccer has professional players. Wheelchair basketball, in the United States, does not. Otherwise the two sports have many similarities. They are team sports. They use similarly shaped balls that are to be passed around and then forced into a goal by outmaneuvering opponents. There is something definitely missing in this picture. It's time professional wheelchair basketball came to the United States, so can get to really enjoy a mighty fine sport.