Brooke Matula, Sports DirectorBrooke Matula is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) with a Bachelors in Recreation Administration with a concentration in Therapeutic Recreation and a minor in Psychology. During her academic career Brooke was a part of the facility operations and sports club operations at the Student Recreation Center at Texas State University. She was a member of the Women’s Club Soccer team for 3 years serving as the Vice President and captain her 3rd year.
Brooke has been involved with adaptive sports for 4 year. She was introduced to adaptive sports at the 2012 Texas Regional Games in San Antonio, Texas. After her second year she spent the summer in Birmingham, AL working at Lakeshore Foundation assisting with summer camps for people with physical disabilities. After returning she started her internship with STRAPS (South Texas Regional Adaptive and Paralympics Sports) and the Brooke Army Medical Center Wounded Warrior Transition Unit. As of October 1, 2015 Brooke continues to coach, administer and lead programs as the STRAPS Sports Director.
Wendy Gumbert, Program AdvisorWendy Gumbert brings more than 20 years of adaptive sports and program-development experience to STRAPS (South Texas Regional Adaptive and Paralympic Sports). During her career, she has successfully developed two community-based adaptive sports programs. Furthermore, as a former BlazeSports America staff member, she facilitated most of their sport competitions, clinics and camps from 1998 to 2005, and she played a key role in the development of the BlazeSports Club program model, now the Paralympic Sports Club model.
She has coached 15 different adaptive sports, taking her coaching to the elite level as a U.S. Paralympics National Team coach and administrator in both wheelchair rugby (Sydney-2000 and Athens-2004) and wheelchair track (Beijing-2008 and London-2012). Over the past eight years, she has been working with Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio to develop and enhance the adaptive sports opportunities offered to wounded service members.
Recently assigned as the U. S. Paralympics regional manager for Texas, she is working to enhance and increase the adapted sports opportunities throughout the state. STRAPS is a recent addition to her busy schedule, but she considers the administrative support, facilities and program sponsors to form an amazing foundation for a very successful adaptive sports program.
Jennifer Cooper Weatherford, Power Wheelchair Soccer Head CoachJennifer Cooper Weatherford is the San Antonio Military Adaptive Sports Coordinator for Armed Forces Services Corporation (AFSC). She is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) with a Masters in Therapeutic Recreation and Leisure Services (MSRLS) and a Bachelors in Exercise Sports Science (ESS) with a minor in psychology. She was introduced to people with disabilities at a very young age as both of her parents are therapists. Her mom is an Occupational Therapist (OT) and her father is a Physical Therapist (PT).
Jennifer lives in San Antonio with her husband Ben, who is currently a physical therapy Doctorate student at the University of Incarnate Word. They both love helping people and helping people excel at life through participation in sports. Jennifer's full time job is doing adapted sports and recreation with the wounded, ill and injured service members at San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC) but she loves coaching STRAPS due to the diversity of the abilities that can participate and the opportunity it gives the community athletes as well as military athletes. At STRAPS, everyone can play and Jennifer loves to PLAY!
Rachel Bauman, Goalball Head CoachRachel is a native Houstonian however, she has called San Antonio her home for the past 7 years. Rachel received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston studying psychology and health while running Track & Field for the Cougars in 2007. After graduating from U of H, Rachel worked at the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center conducting research with the behavioral science unit studying ovarian and head and neck cancer in individuals, focusing and being very intrigued with quality of life topics involving hobbies and recreation during recovery. After moving to San Antonio, Rachel taught as a special education teacher for Northside schools for 3 years before deciding to achieve a life goal of getting her masters degree. Rachel completed her M.S. in Recreational Therapy at Texas State University in 2014 instantly realizing she had found her true calling: helping to improve quality of life for people through leisure and recreational activities and interventions.Rachel is married to her husband and co-pilot, Michael, who is a mechanical engineer and together they have their 4 rescue puppies. Rachel enjoys running, racing, surfing, snowboarding, horseback riding, and playing with her husband and dogs in her spare time.
Rachel completed her graduate internship at the Center for the Intrepid at Fort Sam Houston where she gained life-changing experiences working with wounded service members at San Antonio Military Medical Center. Today, in addition to coaching for STRAPS, Rachel is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) working with adolescents and adults with cognitive, physical, mental health, and social impairments working to improve overall function and quality of life. Rachel was introduced to goalball through volunteering for graduate school and is so grateful to be part of the amazing STRAPS family since June of 2013
Willie Jackson, Wheelchair Soccer, Wheelchair Softball and Adult Wheelchair Basketball (San Antonio Spurs Wheelchair Team)Growing up in Austin, Texas, Jackson was a very active youth, playing varsity football and baseball. Sadly, his bright future in sports ended abruptly when, at the age of 19, he became a paraplegic due to an accidental gunshot. Adapting to this new lifestyle included learning about adaptive sports. Within a few years, Jackson was competing again this time at the highest level of wheelchair sports both nationally and internationally.
Today, Jackson is using his formal education in therapeutic recreation and his vast experience in multiple capacities. Among other things, he is the coach for the Air Force Wounded Warriors wheelchair basketball team and coach (and point guard) for the San Antonio Wheelchair Spurs. ParaSports, a non-profit Paralympic sports club, founded by Jackson and managed by him and his wife, offers wheelchair sports opportunities throughout the Austin and San Antonio areas.
Jackson is an official and functional classifier for the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA), an official for wheelchair soccer as well as an Olympics level one track and field coach. However, one of the duties that Jackson enjoys the most is his role as head coach of the power soccer and wheelchair soccer teams at Morgan's Wonderland's STRAPS program. "The STRAPS program is unique in Texas, and being part of it at the grassroots level is exciting," says Jackson, who lives in the Austin area with his wife Nina and their two dogs.
Sean Arters, Paralympic Soccer CoachSean Arters has been playing soccer since the age of four and always aspired to play at the highest level. He became one of the top youth players in Texas and attended Winston Churchill High School in San Antonio, TX. As a senior, he was team captain and earned a selection to the Texas 5A All-State team. Sean went on to play collegiate soccer at West Virginia University (NCAA D1) and St. Edward's University (NCAA D2) where he was a top contributor for the team earning several athletic awards and honors.
After his college playing career, Sean was 1 of 60 players from the United States and internationally to be invited to the 2013 NASL Combine. After a standout performance, Sean earned a professional contract with the San Antonio Scorpions of the NASL. He also went on to play for the Austin Capitals of the PASL and Corinthians FC SA of the NPSL.
Currently, Sean owns a company called SA Beast that focuses on complete player development for youth soccer players in San Antonio, TX.
Gil Garcia, Head Junior Basketball Coach (STRAPS STARS)Gil is a retired Disabled Veteran of U.S. Army. He served in Desert Storm in the Armor Corp Division 3AD. He studied criminal justice at Southwest Texas Jr. College and has been involved & active in adapted sports for over 23 yrs. Through PVA (Paralyzed Veterans of America) & TPVA associations. By attending adapted sports clinics, seminars, and training camps in various sports he was able to pursue his competitive drive throughout the years nationally. Experiences in the military taught Gil the leadership & motivational qualities that serve as training tools. These resources inspire him to teach & lead by example when instructing newly injured people in adapted sports.
He gained experience in knowledge in a variety of adaptive sports such as: serving as a sports director for the sub-chapters of TPVA (Texas Paralyzed Veteran Association), adapted sports tech for Warm Springs in the sports department, assisting with wheelchair programs as a coordinator & instructor, coached in wheelchair rugby, & various sports and actively competing in the NWBA, with Para Sports Spurs today.
Outside of wheelchair sports, Gil enjoys socializing with family & friends. Participating in community 5k and sporting events throughout the San Antonio area for all charities. He is happily married to his wife Caroline of 23 years raising two pets Bojo and Jojo, treating them as their own kids.
“The opportunity to be part of an amazing organization such as the STRAPS program, & Morgan's Wonderland is rewarding. It has given me the ability to improve people's lives with disabilities while overcoming obstacles in their bright futures.” – Gil Garcia