About Us

How we started…

Around the fall of 2008, Georgeanna Haviland, an avid marathon and 10k runner in central Ohio, attended her daughter’s cross-country meet. She noticed one athlete was guiding another runner through the entire course. She learned that the supported athlete was autistic at a level that would normally prevent him from participating.

The gleaming smile of pride on this young man’s face inspired Georgeanna to find a way to bring his experience to others. She sought rescources and interested parties to build a program that today helps individuals with disabilities experience the joy and triumph of competitive endurance running and biking events.

Initially, Georgeanna and a newly formed board created a central Ohio group under the umbrella of an existing national organization that offered its name and program guidance under a quasi-franchise agreement. This group successfully staged its first events, connecting experienced athletes as “teammates” to push disabled “champions” via special wheelchairs outfitted for endurance racing. The races were a success, proving this new organization was making a difference in the lives of champions, their families and the athletes that supported them.

In mid to late 2013, the board of directors considered disconnecting and repositioning itself as a standalone organization so it could expand programming to better serve the community in central Ohio and align itself with its personal mission. In 2014, the board began the formal process to shift the organization under a new name and launch a plan to reestablish itself with the champions, their helper teammates, supporters and communities it served.

Outreach to those involved with the Team helped guide thoughts on a new name and viability of the new organization and refinements to improve its programs.

Today, Team Heart And Sole is an organization that has expanded to serve both central Ohio and the Athens, Ohio area. We value all abilities and believe all are capable. We feel strongly that everyone should be able to say “Yes We Can!”.