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The disabled inspire at Colloquium

Debbie Allison
Staff Writer

The Movement and Sports Science Spring Colloquium offered students a bit of inspiration straight from one of their peers on Tuesday night.

The Colloquium, sponsored by the Movement and Sports Science Society, consisted of two parts. First, a showing of the documentary “Murderball,” a film about quadriplegics who play wheelchair rugby. The movie chronicled the U.S. wheelchair rugby team and the personal lives of its members on their quest to win back the world championship. Throughout the movie, the audience experienced both the joys and the pains of the members’ lives as they showed every aspect of life as a paraplegic athlete.

The second portion of the Colloquium featured University of La Verne student Hal Hargrave speaking of his own experience since the accident in 2007 that left him as a quadriplegic. That day, Hargrave was delivering building supplies to Las Vegas when he was forced to swerve around a truck tire in his path on Interstate 15. His truck went across the center divider and rolled four times.

“I remember hearing ‘Call the coroner, no one here is alive,’” Hargrave said, recalling the day of his accident. “I didn’t know if I was going to be able to say good bye to my friend and family.”

Rather than looking back and thinking about what things could have been like if this accident had not occurred, Hargrave is focusing on the future.

“There’s not a day that goes by that I regret what happened,” he said.

While doctors have told him that he has only a one to three percent chance of ever walking again, Hargrave is not so quick to give up hope.

“I’ll disagree. I’ll keep fighting,” he said. “I have 97 percent chance that I can’t do this. But I’m the type of kid who sees the three percent.”

Hargrave also believes that his purpose in life is to help others, and to do so he started the Be Perfect Foundation to help people suffering from spinal cord injuries who are unable to handle the heavy financial burden it places upon them. The cost can be upwards of $2.5 million over a lifetime, Hargrave said.

“I’ve met people who have lost houses, who have lost their cars,” he said.

The name “Be Perfect” comes from a scene in the movie “Friday Night Lights” in which the coach of a high school football team in Texas gives a speech telling his team that being perfect is knowing that you did not let your live ones down and that you gave it everything you had.

The Be Perfect Foundation has raised close to $700,000 to date, and Hargrave has set a personal goal of $300,000 for this year. The audience enjoyed both portions of the Colloquium, with much to be taken from both the movie and Hargrave’s speech.

“I thought it was very informative,” Adam Heredia, a senior movement and sports science major, said. “It was good to hear that he’s still motivated and he hasn’t really given up hope.”

Sophomore movement and sports science major Wilson Truong enjoyed the Colloquium as well. “I kind of got a little emotional,” Truong said. “It was inspirational most of all.”

Debbie Allison can be reached at

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