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 Camp for Children with Visual Impairments Set for June 22-15 at SRU 

 

SPOTLIGHT

June 15, 2005

Contact: Gordon Ovenshine 724-748-4854; gordon.ovenshine@sru.edu

CAMP FOR CHILDREN WITH VISUAL IMPAIRMENTS SET FOR JUNE 22-25 AT SRU; HORSEBACK RIDING NEW EVENT SHOWCASES UNIVERSITY’S REPUTATION FOR HELPING THOSE WITH DISABILITIES

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Horseback riding will be the new event when up to 40 blind or visually impaired children from western Pennsylvania and Ohio come to Slippery Rock University June 22-25 for Camp SportsVision. They will participate in 10 sports.

    CampSportsVision gives school children ages six to 18 the opportunity to participate in taekwondo, gymnastics, track and field, dance, rock climbing, swimming, tandem bicycling, a special called “goalball,” which uses a special ball with a bell rolled toward a goal, as well as beep baseball.

     The event is held by SportsVision, a Pittsburgh non-profit organization, SRU and the university’s Adapted Physical Activity Program. Twenty SRU students, most of them minoring in adapted physical activity, will run the camp.

    Participation promotes healthy lifestyles, increases self-esteem and expands awareness of regional recreational opportunities, says Wendy Fagan, SRU’s instructor of exercise science and camp director. 

    “Students will have the opportunity to participate in sports specifically designed for individuals who are blind as well as learn sports they may be exposed to at school and in the community,” she said. “ It opens the door to a lifetime of physical activity.”

     Events take place in SRU’s Robert N. Aebersold Student Recreation Center, Morrow Field House, East and West gyms, Thompson Track, and the intramural fields off Harmony Road. Six horses and ponies will be saddled up for 10-minute rides. Blind riders will follow a tethered lead horse and sighted rider.

    The final event is a 1 p.m. June 25 awards ceremony near the Russell Wright Alumni House.  Like the sporting events, it is free and open to the public.

    Fagan said the camp is a natural for SRU, which offers a number of programs for athletes with disabilities. SRU hosted the National Women’s Wheelchair Association Tournaments in 2004 and 2005. The adapted physical activity minor includes equine facilitated therapy and numerous activity programs for individuals of all ages with varying disabilities. 

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