Date: March 15, 2006
Contact: Lindsay Gladstone
Governors State University
Phone: (708) 534-7090
Fax: (708) 534 8399
For Immediate Release
University Park, March 15,2006 - The College of Health Professions at Governors State University, University Park, created a unique learning experience for students, educators, health care professionals, and interested members of the community.
On March 1, GSU hosted a screening of the Academy Award nominated documentary, “Murderball.” The Sundance Film Festival prize-winning film chronicled the lives of members of the United States Para-Olympic Quad-Rugby team. While the film depicted the violence of the sport and the ability and tenacity of the athletes, it also revealed the more personal stories of how they became injured and cope with their altered lives.
“This documentary revealed the story of these exceptional athletes, their families, emotions, triumphs, and failures,” explained Dr. Roberta O’Shea, professor of Physical Therapy at Governors State University and coordinator of the event. “This film is a powerful educational tool. The audience witnessed the very personal struggles and triumphs these men faced during their rehab, their daily lives, and lives as athletes.”
While the film alone offered an exceptional educational experience, Keith Cavill of New Jersey, one of the athletes whose story is central to the film, also attended the movie screening and led a discussion with the audience afterwards.
Cavill candidly explained how he became a quadriplegic at age 22, and worked through intense treatments and physical therapy to play on the United States Para-Olympic Rugby Team two years later.
“I am not going to sit in a closet until I can walk again,” Cavill told the audience. “In the meantime, this (his wheelchair) is my tool. I have a chance to travel the world and motivate other people. I’m not in a rush to start walking again.”
According to O’Shea, “This film and discussion has wide appeal. Students of various health professions, like physical and occupational therapy, counseling and nursing, as well as professionals already working in their field will benefit from seeing the film and hearing Keith Cavill speak. We hope that students from GSU and other schools and members of the community attend the event. This experience will only help create more understanding in the community and better trained professionals.”
In addition to Governors State University, Morton College in Cicero, South Suburban College in South Holland, Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais and National Seating and Mobility are helping defray the cost of sponsoring the event. Instead of a traditional speaker’s honorarium, Cavill asked event sponsors to contribute to his quad-rugby football team.
This event is free and open to the public. The screening and discussion will be held at the Sherman Music Hall on the main campus of GSU, 1 University Parkway, University Park. For more information, call (708)534-3994 or visit www.govst.edu.