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Redefining All Ability

Published on March 20, 2024

Shannon Farlow

Shane Sorrentino is a former athlete, full-time employee, FCA Character Coach and one of the boldest champions for God you will ever meet. His faith and contagious smile are bigger than life. Sorrentino also has Down Syndrome. His story is an incredible example of how everyone can – and should – bring glory to God through their own unique abilities.

“I want to be joyful; that’s how God gifted me,” said Sorrentino. “If I struggle or feel left out, I still need to be joyful in my life. And that’s the reason I’m part of FCA All Ability.”

At track and field practice one day, Sorrentino noticed that the typical athletes had a very structured warm-up routine as they prepared for practice, yet the All Ability athletes were just sitting and waiting. Sorrentino realized right then that he needed to change the culture and show them that a disability is not an excuse. He saw the potential in his All Ability athletes to not just show up, but to have higher expectations of themselves.

Shane Sorrentino Windsor Basketball“I want to be better; I want them to be better,” says Sorrentino, who played sports for six years before becoming a coach. “When I coach long jump, I tell the kids, ‘I know you’re having fun, but you have to work hard first. Believe in yourself. God’s got this, all morning and all afternoon, God’s got this.’ This is how I push my players to better."

When Sorrentino first started volunteering as a Character Coach in northern Colorado, he told Northern Colorado All Ability Director Angie Miller that he needed a binder. “I need to write down what steps I should do with FCA and with my life, and then I talk to God,” he said.

Sorrentino uses the FCA Sports Coach app to look up skills, drills and devotions as he organizes a plan for each practice. He holds players accountable, helps develop their strengths and weaknesses and encourages them to live with purpose, on and off the field. At the end of the school year, Shane writes a note with personalized Scripture to every senior on the school’s basketball team.

“The Holy Spirit gives Shane the exact Scripture that each person needs,” shared Miller. “He is a true role model and radiates the type of joy that draws people in.”

Serving as a Character Coach at the same high school he once attended, Sorrentino is confidently taking his faith with him.

"My passion and favorite thing about FCA is to teach kids about grace."
-Shane Sorrentino
For Miller, Psalm 139 comes alive when she considers all Sorrentino lives for and does:

“For it was you who created my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I will praise you
because I have been remarkably and wondrously made.
Your works are wondrous,
and I know this very well.”
-Psalm 139: 13-14

“Shane steps into situations boldly, and because of that, people love him. He has so much favor with the community and his teams. He’s such an encourager, and he has a platform because of how he’s done life,” Miller shared. “He knows people are who God created them to be, and he chooses to love them right where they are.”

3rd Place at the Special Olympics Flag Football Regionals 2022When it comes to All Ability sports, volunteers like Sorrentino make the best teammates and champions. He seizes every opportunity to encourage athletes, teach them about grace and show them how God fashioned each one of them for a particular purpose. Sorrentino and other All Ability volunteers in northern Colorado serve as partners and Character Coaches on Unified Sports teams in the community, which join athletes both with and without intellectual disabilities on a team together. with the middle, high and adult communities.

They also support athletes’ families. By getting to know family members and allowing them to observe how they interact with their child, connections are made and oftentimes, families are willing to listen to the why behind the care.

“All Ability athletes are typically very open to the Gospel, and they are helping open the doors for us to minister to their families as well,” said Miller.

Sorrentino is paving the way for future All Ability ministry in northern Colorado, joyfully exhibiting the hands and feet of Jesus in his community and showing coaches and athletes that however God has made them, they are not only included, but they belong.


Lord, thank You for opening so many doors for us to love and serve. We praise You for the work You are doing with All Ability coaches and athletes in northern Colorado and across the globe. We ask You to raise up new volunteers and opportunities to disciple more coaches and athletes through this growing ministry. Cover us with Your blessings in everything we do. Amen.

FCA All Ability Sports in Northern Colorado

Across the globe, all ability programming is one of FCA’s fastest growing ministry areas. Yet, it’s no surprise when you see the passion and vision of people like Sorrentino and Miller leading the charge. In northern Colorado, it is their dream to have a facility for All Ability coaches and athletes to be trained. After the age of 21, programs dissipate for these young adults, and FCA wants to help bridge the gap. This sports facility will provide a place for athletes to exercise, find community and get plugged into the All Ability sports world, and a place where FCA will train Character Coaches for younger All Ability teams. To learn more, visit https://www.northerncoloradofca.org/all-ability.

To learn about All Ability programs in your area, email Steve Jones at sjones@fca.org.


Photos courtesy of Angie Miller and Shane Sorrentino