Our Team

Meet our exceptional coaching and administrative staff at Ability First Sports, comprised of collegiate and national athletes with a wealth of experience in adapted sports, as well as a dedicated administrative team of passionate volunteers. Our coaches are here to foster a supportive and empowering environment for the participant, drawing from their personal achievements and expertise. Meanwhile, members of our administrative team have backgrounds in education and non-profit organizations along with decades of experience at Ability First. Every participant is in the hands of true experts and caring mentors.
 

Team

Eric Snedeker - Founder & Director 

Eric Snedeker is the Director of Ability First Sports, in Chico California. He started the
program in 1985, while teaching in the Adapted Physical Education program at
California State University, Chico. He has worked as an Adapted Physical Education
teacher, Special Education Principal, and Special Education Director for Chico Unified
School District for over 35 years. Eric is well respected as a leader in Adapted Physical
Education. His educational focus has been teacher training and programming for
individuals with physical disabilities. Eric’s has been promoting sports, leisure, and
recreational programming in school and community settings. As a result, Ability First
has been successful having many of their athletes participating with wheelchair club
teams, Para-Olympics, College/Junior College sport programs, and community-based
programs.

Scott Dinits - Co-Director 

Scott Dinits works as the Human Resources Director for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the North Valley, is a Co-Director of Ability First Sports, and a trainer at the Butte College Training Place. For 20 years Scott has worked with school districts, community organizations, foundations and service groups, providing a variety of services. Scott is dedicated toward inclusive programs for people with disabilities and young people that need us the most. Scott provides training and support to community based organizations, parent workshops, and expanded learning programs for youth development practices, Trauma Informed and Responsive Systems and Community Resiliency Practices. Scott supports various county initiatives, is on several different boards, and is a past board member and trainer for California School Age Consortium. He is currently certified in the Community Resiliency Model and as an ACE Interface Master Trainer. He has a wonderful best friend, his wife Stacie, and they have a 14 year old freshman and a 5 year old kindergartener. Getting outside for a bike ride or a hike, gardening with his family in their front yard garden and BBQing for friends, family and community are some of his favorite things to do.

Kerri Vanderbom - Co-Director & Coach Specialist 

Kerri Vanderbom has been with Ability First for 30 years in many different roles. She started out
as an athlete/camper, graduated to a jr. coach in 1995, and finally became a coach, program
coordinator, and board member. In her spare time, she works as the Program Manager for the Injury Prevention Program at Butte County Department of Public Health. Kerri is a local, hailing
from Gridley, California, but over the years has called Australia, Oregon, and Alabama her
home. Kerri was a competitive, 3-event water skier, skiing for California State University, Chico
during her undergrad and as a 5-time member for the USA Disabled Water Ski Team. She
received a PhD from Oregon State University in Exercise Sport Science. She is married to
Coach Derek, has a dog and likes to travel. If you are nerdy and interested in learning more
about her achievements or reading her research papers, check out her Linkedin profile:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kerri-vanderbom/

Jen Taylor-Winney -  Co- Director of Programs

Jennifer Taylor-Winney has been working with Ability First since 2001 when she was an
undergrad at Chico State University. Jen has held several positions at camp including
counselor and recreation specialist. She is now a part of the executive planning team
and travels from Oregon every year for camp. Jen is currently an associate professor of
exercise science at Western Oregon University and a certified adapted physical
educator. Jen's expertise is in physical activity, recreation, and community programming
for individuals with disabilities. Her favorite sport at camp is wheelchair basketball and
loves to watch athletes ski for the first time.

Derek Vanderbom - Coach Specialist 

Derek has been a coach at ability first sports since 2007 where he coaches youth and adults.
He helps facilitate the year around program with events in cycling, basketball and water skiing.
He has15 years experience coaching basketball, water skiing and cycling.
Derek has been competing as an athlete since the age of 15 in the sport of Motocross and as a
disabled athlete since 2001 in multiple sports. Derek competed in swimming and placed second
at the Australian Swimming Championships 50 meter Breaststroke and he still holds two
Australian disabled swimming records. Derek started competing in Water Skiing in 2003 and in
2005 represented his native country of Australia at the World Championship. Derek has
represented Australia four times and in 2017 became World Champion. He also played division
II wheelchair basketball and competed at a national level in disabled Swimming.

Ed Cheveres  

Ed Cheveres is the Sr. Director of Youth Services for the Good Samaritan Family
Resource Center, a non-profit organization in San Francisco. He is a California Bay Area
native with over 2 decades experience in youth development. Ed has worked at Ability
First and been an avid supporter for the past 14yrs. Additionally, in his career he has
supported and helped to develop a multitude of inclusive expanded learning and
summer programs for K-12 youth including comprehensive school-based
programs, community-based programs, and summer camps. Ed is well versed in trauma
informed care, resiliency, leadership development, and certified in aggression
replacement training and healing centered engagement. He studied Community and
Commercial Recreation Administration at California State University, Chico.

Joe Day - Operations Coordinator  

Joe has worked with Ability First for over 10 years. He found camp as a
college student working for the Boys and Girls Club of the North Valley, and it quickly
became part of his life. While working at the summer sports camp, he has served in the
capacity of a night counselor, day counselor and head day counselor. Ever since the
need for virtual programming came Joe has been helping with technical needs of Ability
First. Though Joe has long since graduated from Chico State and now works in tech, his
true passion is helping this amazing organization grow!