>Murderball, Hiking, Dancing, Singing – Bonnie does it all!

>From: Jewish quadriplegic inducted into Sports Hall of Fame for work in quad rugby and wheelchair dance | j. the Jewish news weekly of Northern California

Try to keep up with Dancer and Founding Member Bonnie Lewkowicz and you’d just be spinning your wheels.

Lewkowicz, 53, is quadriplegic, in a wheelchair since age 15 when she was injured in an accident on an all-terrain vehicle. That never stopped her from pursuing her passions. All of them. Now, the Berkeley resident’s pioneering efforts in dance for the disabled and in murderball (also called quad rugby) are being recognized by the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame of Northern California. The induction ceremony took place at a gala Sunday, June 13 at San Francisco’s Four Seasons Hotel.

Lewkowicz is the first quad athlete inducted into the Bay Area institution. “She overcame adversity, and that’s part of our cause,” says Executive Director Gary Wiener. “She’s a good representative of the Jewish community. I think her perseverance is admirable.”She first heard about the Hall of Fame honor when a friend who helped out with her old quad rugby team called to say he planned to nominate her. “He asked if I would be interested,” Lewkowicz remembers, “and I said, ‘what’s not to be interested?’”

The award honors her involvement in both dance and murderball, a sport popularized in the 2005 Oscar-nominated documentary of the same name. In 1988, Lewkowicz founded both the California Quad Rugby League and her championship team, Quadzilla, a co-ed squad still talked about with reverence among fans.But quad rugby isn’t her only way to play.

For more than 20 years, Lewkowicz has also been a principal dancer with AXIS, a company she helped found that features disabled and able-bodied dancers performing together in original modern dance pieces.Lewkowicz soon will launch a website detailing disabled access at state beaches, parks and trails. That’s on top of her “Wheelchair Rider’s Guide: San Francisco Bay and Nearby Coast,” published in 2006, and “Access San Francisco,” a city guide for disabled visitors.All of Lewkowicz’s activities can be filed under her lifelong adherence to Jewish ethics, which led her to pursue projects that help others.“I would have a hard time thinking of myself as anything other than Jewish,” she says. “Jewish values and culture are very important to my life, not just food to eat, but to share.”

read more Source: Jweekly.com “Heart of a champion: Wheelchair doesn’t stop quadriplegic athlete” by Dan Pine, staff writer


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About AXIS Dance Company

AXIS is one of the world’s most innovative ensembles of performers with and without disabilities. Here you get a behind-the-scenes look into our world and stay up to date with AXIS. www.axisdance.org
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