40 Under 40 Spotlight: Eric Gray advocates for inclusive adventure sports
Eric Gray (BSED ’04), executive director of Catalyst Sports, is committed to service and adventure. Eric and his team of dedicated volunteers break down the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from accessing adventure sports in their communities.
For his personal, professional and philanthropic achievements, Eric ranked among UGA’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2021. The program celebrates young alumni leading the pack in their industries and communities.
Discover how Catalyst Sports creates an inclusive environment for people with disabilities:
How did Eric Gray become involved in Catalyst Sports?
Eric Gray received a degree in recreation and leisure studies from the Mary Frances Early College of Education. From a young age, he had a passion for improving the world around him.
At the age of 10, Gray received treatment for childhood cancer at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Twenty-five years later, he returned to Children’s as a recreation therapist to give back and share his experiences to those facing similar circumstances. He also worked for the National Ability Center, where he taught people with disabilities how to ski, snowboard, canoe, climb, horseback, and cycle.
Removing barriers and creating access for people with disabilities is at the heart of Eric Gray’s work.
What is Catalyst Sports?
Catalyst Sports is a chapter based, nonprofit organization which gives people with physical disabilities access to adventures within a supportive community. Adventure sports like climbing and cycling empower people with disabilities to discover their strength.
“The Catalyst Sports family has helped me in my recovery, helped me heal and grow, test my physical and mental boundaries and has introduced me to new groups of people who love life and embrace challenges. I can’t thank you enough,” said Michael Breed, an active member of Catalyst Sports.
How can you support the mission to make sports more inclusive?
Private support is essential to Catalyst Sports’ success. The nonprofit relies on contributions from the community to ensure a more inclusive tomorrow. Donations support opportunities for training, certification, scholarships, recruitment, and purchasing new equipment.