Sports programs for kids with mental disabilities to be offered

Starting September, children 2–11 with intellectual disabilities can take part in sports programs through Special Olympics BC – Revelstoke.

Contributed by Special Olympics BC Revelstoke

Beginning in September, children between the ages of two and 11 with intellectual disabilities will have a chance to take part in a sports initiative offered through Special Olympics BC – Revelstoke.

The Active Start and FUNdamentals programs teach basic motor and sport skills through fun and positive movement experiences for children with intellectual disabilities. In Revelstoke, the programs will be facilitated by Whitney Kendrick, Volunteer Coordinator for SOBC Revelstoke. Kendrick will be assisted by a parent volunteer.

Kendrick, an occupational therapist, said she wanted to begin the Active Start and FUNdamentals programs in Revelstoke to fill a need she saw in the community

“For me it’s because this is my clientele. I work with two to 12 year olds in my private practice and it’s really important for these kids to get a good base for gross motor skills in a non-judgmental environment,” she said.

Both Active Start and FUNdamentals are no-cost, 12-week family-centred activity programs targeting children with intellectual disabilities. In Active Start, children between the ages of two and six learn basic motor skills such as walking, running, jumping and throwing in a fun and safe environment.

The FUNdamentals program is a continuation of the Active Start program for children with intellectual disabilities between the ages of seven and 11, with the skills transitioning from basic movement skills to basic sport skills. The family-centred program provides children with a more in-depth introduction to sport-related motor skills along with training and competition, while maintaining an atmosphere of fun and meaningful interaction.

Kendrick said despite having only two children signed up so far, numbers are not what the program is based on.

“It would be nice if we had more, then they could play with each other.”

The Active Start and FUNdamentals program will run once a week for an hour. A schedule and location have yet to be determined.

For more information about Active Start and FUNdamentals or to register contact Whitney Kendrick at whitneykendrick@hotmail.com or call 250-837-7987.