Rancho Los Amigos started their wheelchair sports program more than 30 years ago. The program aims to encourage each participant to develop a lifetime of physical fitness behaviors and assist with social and cognitive development. Through the program, sports skills are developed and confidence blossoms while creating a sense of purpose and teamwork.
Las Floristas has been funding the pediatric portions of the Rancho Wheelchair Sports teams since its inception.
This sports program consists of tennis, rugby, arena football, hockey, over-the-line, and basketball. Children from 4 to 12 years of age participate in the Futures Program, where the focus is on fun and learning the basics rather than competition. This team participates in wheelchair basketball competitions but mainly focuses on a variety of sports during practices to offer exposure and skill building. Another important aspect of development for the children in this section is the evolution of teamwork, which they learn from watching and emulating the behavior of older athletes.
The Juniors Team serves young athletes from 13 to 17 years of age. Rancho’s teams have done extremely well at competitions over the years in this “Junior” category, where setting and reaching goals, sportsmanship and teamwork are the key aspects of the program. Many of Rancho’s athletes choose to remain in the program beyond their 18th birthday, continuing to play on the highly successful adult wheelchair sports teams while serving as role models for the younger athletes. This competition team is known as the Rancho Halos and is consistently ranked nationally. The exposure the team receives by playing at some of the more scouted tournaments allows the seniors to be noticed and frequently results in collegiate offers for our players.
The Rancho Halos is a highly competitive team at both the Junior and Adult levels. The teams travel frequently for tournaments during the season, which typically runs September to April. Students are expected to maintain their grades and keep academics as their first priority in order to travel with the team. This agreement is made between the players, parents, and coaching staff. This experience with travel also fosters independence for our players as they must maintain their own health and well being, in addition to being responsible for their own equipment etc. Las Floristas is able to fully fund all travel and related expenses.
In June of each year Las Floristas hosts the Scholarship and Awards Dinner for the children and their families thanks to the generous underwriting of the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation. This event allows us to come together with our athletes and other program participants and share in the celebration of their successes from that year. This event is typically attended by program participants, their families, members of the Rancho community, and the Ladies of Las Floristas. We enjoy a wonderful meal together and awards are given out by coaches and staff to recognize outstanding achievements of that year. In 2021, this celebration included food generously provided by the Habit Burger with the inclusion of their Habit Burger Truck.
For any questions regarding our Wheelchair Sports Futures Team or our competition Wheelchair Basketball Team the Rancho Renegades please contact:
Tiffany Yonemoto, CTRS, RTII
Recreation Therapist & Wheelchair Sports Program Coordinator
Spinal Cord Injury Service TYonemoto@dhs.lacounty.gov
“Las Floristas has provided a community for us through the wheelchair sports program”
Bryant Hull, Father of Katie Hull, Rancho Renegades
“Thanks for being in our lives and giving us the opportunity to be the change in their lives. You are a true blessing.”
Rick Tirambulo, Wheelchair Sports Head Coach
On March 7, 2020, the Rancho Los Amigos Basketball Teams were chosen by Spectrum Cable and the Helpful Honda Dealers to receive a “Random Act of Helpfulness” The players were surprised at practice with a film crew, and gifts of new tires and basketballs. These gifts were originally intended to prepare for the National Wheelchair Basketball Final Season Tournament, which was scheduled for March 13-15 but was unfortunately canceled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The commercial below as shot at practice, and aired on Spectrum during a Los Angeles Laker game.