From aqua aerobics to quad rugby to wheelchair basketball, dozens of University of Central Florida students and staff members took part Wednesday in the Recreation & Wellness Center’s first Adaptive Recreation Expo.
The RWC partnered with the Multicultural Student Center, Student Disability Services, Student Government Association, Orlando Magic Wheels, Orange County Clash and Lighthouse Central Florida to put on the day-long event featuring the activities for students with disabilities.
The RWC held the expo in conjunction with National Recreation Sports and Fitness Day.
Students of all abilities participated in several events.
More than 20 students from Keiser University’s Occupational Therapy program took part in the morning sessions including group-resistance training and Aqua Aerobics.
Kim Tong, an OT student at Keiser, said group resistance isn’t easy.
“You have to have a lot of upper body strength to compensate for not having use of your legs,” Tong said.
Melissa Morgan, an OT instructor at Keiser and UCF alumni member, was glad to take part in the expo.
“I’m really impressed with how accessible UCF is to people with disabilities. It’s an awesome facility,” she said.
The afternoon session featured team-building exercises with the RWC’s Outdoor Adventure team, Goalball, quad rugby with the Orange County Clash, and wheelchair basketball with the Magic Wheels.
Kyle Coon, a UCF student who is blind, led participants in Goalball, a Paralympics sport for the visually impaired. The ball makes noise while in motion and players have to stop it from going into a goal similar to soccer.
Coon, who lost his eyesight when he was 6, is an RWC spin instructor and Certified Personal Trainer. He said the RWC’s adaptive and inclusive recreation program is beneficial. “We’re (RWC) on the path to doing what we want to do here,” he said. “We want people to know there are many opportunities for people with disabilities.”
The Orange County Clash and Orlando Magic Wheels capped off the day with sessions on how to play quad rugby and wheelchair basketball. Each team played a full period of their sports and then opened up play for students and other participants.
RWC’s fitness coordinator, Ashley Hathcock, worked with the various groups to put on the event.
“The Adaptive Recreation Expo was a huge accomplishment,” she said. “Over two hundred students, staff, and community members participated in the event. We achieved exactly what we set out to do with this program…to spotlight the adaptive recreational opportunities for students with disabilities. I feel that it was a great learning experience for everyone involved.”
The Recreation and Wellness Center is funded by SGA. Comprehensive and diverse programs such as Adaptive Recreation are part of the center’s mission to enrich campus life.
For more information on the Adaptive and Inclusive Recreation program, contact Hathcock at email@example.com or go to http://rwc.sdes.ucf.edu/programs/fitness/adaptive-recreation.
For more pictures: Adaptive Recreation Facebook Photo Album