New adaptive programs in Provo (slideshow)

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The Provo Recreation Center showed off its new adaptive recreation program to the community at the Adaptive Experience Kickoff on Feb. 20.

During the event there were a variety of activities for those with disabilities, or to show those without disabilities what it might be like to have a disability.

The event offered wheelchair basketball, ability goal ball, ability yoga and tai chi, tiny tots tumbling and other activities. There was also a motivational speaker who spoke about his own disability.

“We feel we offer something for everybody,” said Alicia Christensen, recreation coordinator for the Provo Recreation Center.

According the Christensen, the rec center began planning this event last fall.

Christensen said these programs used to be available to a select few and now they want them to be available to everyone. When Christensen was hired by the city, they had a vision for the future of ability recreation.

Guests checking in for sports activities. (Photo courtesy of Haylin Martin)
Guests check in for sports activities. (Photo courtesy Haylin Martin)

“With our prior facilities in Provo, we couldn’t make it accessible,” said Christensen. “We didn’t have the staff with the knowledge.”

Charlotte Romberg, adaptive sports coordinator at the recreation center said efforts have been made to offer these new ability programs.

Romberg said two new instructors have been hired to teach ability yoga and tai chi. She also explained that the class sizes will be smaller and there will be extra staff. The classes are included with regular memberships or the $5 day classes.

“Wheelchair basketball will continue until March 12,” said Romberg. “That’s when our adult basketball league ends.”

Romberg was pleased with the results of the event, and how much effort everyone contributed to make it successful.

“We definitely couldn’t have run this event without our volunteers,” said Romberg.

One volunteer was Starlee Jacobs, a 21-year-old BYU student from Las Vegas, Nev. studying recreation management.

“There was a variety of people that attended. I was really impressed by that,” she said. “There were families wanting to know more about adaptive programs for their children, college students and even just moms who brought their kids for a fun and educational experience.”

Provo Mayor John Curtis introduced Tim Hurst, the motivational speaker.

Hurst spoke of his own experience as an amputee. Doctors grafted his leg back to his body after suffering a life-threatening motorcycle accident in California. When Hurst left the hospital in a wheelchair and thought he would never walk again. He miraculously regained feeling in his legs, and his leg that had been grafted was causing him immense pain.

“I wanted to give up,” said Hurst.

The pain was so bad that Hurst made the decision to have his leg amputated from the knee down. Hurst had to learn how to walk again.

With the help of a blade runner, Hurst not only walked again, but has now run more than 30 marathons.

Hurst said that running has given him hope. He then encouraged people with challenges to find ways to recreate.

“Recovery is hard work,” said Hurst. “But it is also fun and very rewarding.”

Wheelchair basketball and adaptive goal ball were full all night from all of the people who showed up and participated at the adaptive experience.

To find out more about ability recreation activities, visit the Provo Recreation Center.

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