Cranfill uses internship to raise awareness about muscular dystrophy

Elon senior Josh Cranfill hasn’t let muscular dystrophy stop him from combining his love of sports with a successful internship that has paved the way for a job after he graduates next month.

Cranfill, a leisure and sport management major, helped raise more than $1,100 for the North Carolina Electric Wheelchair Hockey Association during an internship with the organization last fall. It’s a cause that’s close to his heart—he’s a member of the Carolina Fury, a successful team in the sport of electric wheelchair hockey, more commonly called Powerhockey, that finished 5th in the 2006 Power Hockey Cup tournament in Calgary, Alberta last August.

“My internship gave me the chance to take a more active role with the association and see the total operation of the organization,” says Cranfill, who solicited sponsorships and donations for a benefit game in January, which the Fury won in overtime, 5-4. “I was able to apply a lot of the things I learned in my classes at Elon to my internship.” In addition to his work with the benefit game, Cranfill and association President Jonathan Greeson co-authored an article about the sport of Powerhockey for an upcoming issue of Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy magazine.

The N.C. Electric Wheelchair Hockey Association was so impressed with Cranfill’s work during his internship that the non-profit organization offered him a position after graduation as vice president. “My hope is to devote a great deal of my time to expanding the organization,” says Cranfill, at right in the photograph. Players come from various parts of North Carolina, and some must travel a great distance to Goldsboro, where the team currently holds practices and games. The organization would also like to increase the number of players on its roster.

In addition to his work with the association, Cranfill says he would like to try motivational speaking after finishing his degree in May.