"Rewriting the Myths, Redefining the Realities"
DENVER, Colo...Summer 2003...The National
Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD) will launch several new
programs this summer to encourage children and adults with
disabilities to participate in outdoor activities, while providing
opportunities for families who have members with special needs to
vacation together in the Rocky Mountains.
New this season is an adaptive golf program that will be held in five locations throughout the state of Colorado, including Indian Tree (North Jeffco), City Park (Denver), Chipeta (Grand Junction), Easter Seals Camp (Empire), and Pole Creek Golf Club (Winter Park). The program will teach young people the sport of golf, while improving their coordination and concentration skills and teaching them the lifelong skills of patience and honesty.
Building on the success of its popular Colorado Rockies Baseball Camp, the NSCD will debut a Denver Broncos Gatorade AbilityCAMP on June 17th. This free, interactive camp will be run by Steve Sewell, former Denver Broncos running back. Drills will consist of quarterback and running back challenges, rumblin', stumblin', fumblin', and receiver relays.
Two new camps have also been added to this summer's line up. In June, NSCD will offer a five-day Adults with Developmental Disabilities camp. Participants will meet new people and gain new skills while involved in daily adventures like river rafting, cycling, hiking, kayaking, and group activities, including camping under the stars. In July, the Cultural Exchange for Teens with Physical Disabilities will bring together teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17 from various countries for a week of outdoor activities at the NSCD's accessible campground. Participants will take part in horseback riding, kayaking, rafting, cycling, and hiking. These activities will be designed to stimulate social, cultural, emotional, cognitive, and physical growth.
Along with these new programs, many of the summer favorites are returning.
Whitewater rafting trips on the Colorado River allow people with disabilities like cerebral palsy, spina bifida and multiple sclerosis to enjoy a single day excursion or an overnight trip that includes camping along the river.
Rock climbing for the blind and visually impaired is available in Eldorado Canyon near Boulder. Students with the Colorado Center for the Blind and participants with developmental disabilities can learn problem-solving techniques, independence, and mobility from the sport of rock climbing.
With more than 600 miles of multi-use trails, the Fraser Valley has become a haven for mountain bikers. NSCD instructors join participants using hand cycles, tandem bikes and mountain bikes.
At the NSCD's therapeutic horseback riding center in Grand County, instructors teach Western and English riding styles on gentle horses with special saddles and bareback pads-so riders with mobility impairments can enjoy cantering through the woods. Instructors work with therapists to improve coordination, muscle tone, speech skills, and balance.
Hiking and camping are an integral part of summer mountain adventures and the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Winter Park Outdoor Center has one of the first accessible trails in Colorado specially designed for sport wheelchairs. Created entirely by volunteers, the Center includes a 1.2-mile trail system and campground with wheelchair accessible tent platforms, picnic tables, and restrooms. Campsites are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis, and rental equipment is available through the NSCD.
The NSCD is the largest outdoor therapeutic recreation organization of its kind in the world. Each year, thousands of children and adults with disabilities take to the ski slopes, golf links and mountain trails to learn more about sports and themselves. With specially trained staff and its own adaptive equipment lab, the NSCD can accommodate individuals with almost any physical or developmental disability.
"Some people may believe it is impossible for a blind person to rock climb or an individual with a spinal cord injury to raft on the Colorado River," says Beth Fox, Winter Park Operations Manager. "But at the NSCD, anything is possible. We make dreams come true all year long."
The NSCD has operated summer programs since 1980. Programs are open to individuals, families and agencies, including hospitals and rehabilitation centers. Reservations are required, and fees range from $20 to $150 per person, depending on the activity. For information, call the NSCD at 970.726.1540 or visit the website at www.nscd.org.
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Copyright 2002 A&H Publishing Corporation