Although Bryce Weiler was born without sight, it doesn’t stop him from loving sports. In fact, sports is part of his career. Bryce’s keen senses enable him to even be a commentator for various sports games; a talent that became one of his first steps on an intriguing path toward widening the door to sports for disabled individuals.
Viewing Sports Through a New Set of Eyes
Over the years, Bryce has rooted himself in sports. With a Bachelors degree in Sports Management and Communication from the University of Evansville and a Masters in Sports Administration from Western Illinois, he knew where he wanted to plant his career.
“I decided to find a career in sports because of being able to listen to sports broadcasters on the radio like Brian Barnhart of Illinois and Don Fisher of the Indiana Hoosiers,” he said. “It was through these broadcasters that I developed a love of sports.”
But that path didn’t forge itself. Bryce knew his lack of sight came with limitations. At Evansville, he settled for the sidelines until someone gave him the opportunity to move closer to the game itself.
“Marty Simmons allowing me the opportunity to sit on the basketball bench at Evansville changed my life,” Bryce confessed. “It gave me the opportunity to be around sports which is something I thought I would not be able to do since I cannot see.”
Bryce commentated for numerous games at Evansville and broadcasted games on the radio. Yet a greater cause soon called to him, leading him to link the sports he loved to the disabled community through a nonprofit he co-founded called the Beautiful Lives Project.
A Look at the Beautiful Lives Project
The Beautiful Lives Project’s mission is simple and straightforward: to make activities and facilities more accessible to the disabled community. Bryce works with his friend and co-founder, Diane McFeaters, to create, build, and optimize on programs so that everyone can experience them fully.
They put on numerous events and programs each year ranging from sports events to performing arts and more.
Bringing Dreams to the Court at Ave Maria
This month, Bryce and the Beautiful Lives Project is bringing their mission to Southwest Florida through a basketball game at Ave Maria on December 19. The event is from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM and will give disabled individuals the opportunity to interact with Ave Maria’s coach and players while shooting baskets on the court.
“I set up these events in many places across the country,” Bryce said. “Not only does our nonprofit do programs for disabled fans with sports, but we also do programs where disabled individuals have the opportunity to do events with cheerleading teams, dance teams, art programs such as painting, and ballets as well.”
The goal? To collaborate with teams and the disabled community in order to make today’s beloved sports accessible to all.