Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and an online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs.
Hey, friends! Spiffy here with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Victor Ocando Finol, the founder and CEO of Adapt the Game. Let’s learn what’s happening at Adapt the Game and how Victor is making a positive impact in the world.
Spiffy: Hi Victor, thanks a million for talking to me today. Tell me, what challenge are you addressing through Adapt the Game?
Victor: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! 15% of the world's population have some type of disability, but only half of this amount can attend live sporting events due to accessibility barriers. My startup seeks to normalize access for fans that have been ignored, because we believe that all fans should live their passion for sports equally. Our purpose is to improve game day experience for fans with disabilities by covering all of their game day needs in one app.
Spiffy: Wonderful. What motivated you to do it?
Victor: I was born with cerebral palsy, yet I'm a huge soccer fan. As a wheelchair user in my home country, Venezuela, I faced many barriers attending sporting events during my childhood. An important moment in my life happened when I was a kid and my physical therapist told me I wasn't going to be able to play soccer. That motivated me more to pursue a career in sports law. After eight years working in the sports law industry, I wanted to create a platform that enables fans with disabilities to easily obtain information about accessible stadiums.
Spiffy: Thank you for sharing your personal background. That’s very inspiring. How would you say that your organization is working towards a more equitable world?
Victor: We are creating customized solutions to align the needs of the fans with disabilities with those of the sports properties.
Spiffy: Tell me about a recent organization milestone or initiative. What impact does it make on your audience?
Victor: As an organization we believe that education must be accessible for all. For this reason, we are close to launching a course series about accessibility in sports with partners and colleagues to reduce the gap of knowledge about accessibility in the industry and offering accessible education about this important topic. Stay tuned!
Spiffy: Knowledge is power! Please share an experience when you faced failure and didn’t give up. What did you learn from it?
Victor: While attending college in Venezuela, I was told that I should focus on my writing arguments instead of my oral and presentation skills to litigate due to my speech difficulties. However, I never gave up; I improved my speech, became bilingual, and in 2019 and 2020, living in the US, I was invited by the Colorado Rockies to give motivational speeches to their latino prospects and by Toros de Tijuana during their preseason training in January 2020. I learned that we all face adversity in life, but if you live your life with passion and faith you can overcome adversities.
Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Victor—it’s been an honor
Before Adapt the Game, Victor practiced international sports law specializing in soccer law. He has represented different stakeholders in the soccer industry. Victor is also an adaptive athlete, and volunteers as part of the Ethics and Eligibility Committee at Angel City Sports, a non profit based in Los Angeles. He is a member of the FIFA CIES student network. (Nominated by Sarina Regehr of Visible Hands. First published on the Ladderworks website on May 18, 2023.)
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.
© 2023 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Lindsey Brannon. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.