About

Courage League Sports is a non-profit adaptive sports and recreational facility that offers year-round programming for children and adults who aren't able to go full speed due to a physical, cognitive or emotional disability. By adapting the pace, equipment, or nature of an activity, Courage League can provide a safe and accessible environment where participants can go at their own speed.

Courage League Sports was inspired by Jack who at the age of eight suffered multiple strokes that forever changed his life. Frustrated at the lack of options for her son, Melissa Clarke-Wharff opened Courage League Sports where those with special needs could participate and be active outside of a therapy atmosphere. Today, Courage League serves nearly 1,000 children and adults on a monthly basis.  


Founder/President - Melissa Clarke-Wharff

Born and raised in Des Moines, Melissa graduated from Roosevelt High School and received her bachelor degree from the University of Iowa.  Prior to opening Courage League, she worked in the hospitality industry for 25 years.  Melissa lives in West Des Moines with her husband Mike, and their 6 kids, Joe, Matt, Jack, Mari, Nick and Ellie.

Support Staff:

Brittany Michael, Program Manager
Dani Dowling, Program Assistant
Felicia Rider, Program Assistant                                                                                                                     
Porshia Perkins, Development Coordinator 

Board of Directors: 

Tanya Fish, Vice President
Strategist, ITA Group

Andrew Green, CPA, Treasurer
Treasury and Finance Manager, PPI

Jennifer Ellis, Secretary
Regional Marketing Director, UnityPoint Health

Eric Beaver
CPA, Businessolver

Alex Broderick
CPM, Hubbell Realty

Michelle Henaman Senior Account Manager, Aetna

John Leder  Account Executive, Holmes Murphy

Heidi Shreck, MD
Pediatrician, Unity Point Clinics 

Kirk Schuler Attorney, Dorsey and Whitney Law

Naval Tandon Assistant Tax Director, Casey's General Stores, Inc

Stacy Tandon Creative Director & Supervisor, ITA Group