Disability Sports Night highlights Rec Therapy Month activities

disability sports night

Feb. 18, 2016

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Basketball. Volleyball. Rugby.

Whether participating as part of an organized team, or in a simple "pick up" game among friends, this trio of sports provides any able-bodied person an outlet for competition, leisure and camaraderie.

But what if a person wasn't able?

"As a recreational therapist, it's wonderful to be able to use sports in a person's treatment," said Megan Frisco, a Slippery Rock University recreational therapy major from Oxford. "Not only does it have a (recovery) goal and purpose behind it, but it's nice to have an option to let those individuals that have a sports background or inclination that upon their (facility) discharge, there are outlets for them to be both active and competitive."

Those outlets will be on display from 6:30-8:30 p.m., Feb. 19 at the ARC as SRU's therapeutic recreation/recreational therapy club presents its second annual "Disability Sports Night."

The event, open to all SRU faculty, staff and students, will feature instruction and game play in wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, quad rugby and wheelchair tennis.

Last year's event drew more than 30 students.

"It was incredibly fun the last time we did this and we hope to build upon that with this year's event," said Frisco. "Not only did everyone have a good time, but its also provides an opportunity to see things from the perspective of persons with limited mobility, the challenges they face and hopefully gain an appreciation for what they go through on a daily basis."

The event coincides with February being National Therapeutic Recreation Month, which provides an opportunity to enhance public awareness of therapeutic recreation programs and recreational therapy services and promote inclusive recreation opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

According to the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification, recreation therapy, also known as therapeutic recreation, is a systematic process that utilizes recreation and other activity-based interventions based upon the assessed needs of individuals with illnesses and/or disabling conditions. The purpose of the RT process is to improve or maintain physical, cognitive, social, emotional and spiritual functioning in order to facilitate full participation in life.

In addition to the Feb. 19 event, the therapeutic recreation/recreational therapy club will host "Animal Assisted Interventions," at 6 p.m., Feb. 22 in Room 142 of the Advanced Technology and Science Hall; and speaker Kelly Spanninger at 6 p.m., Feb. 24 in the Smith Student Center Ballroom.

The animal-assisted interventions event will provide attendees with a chance to learn and compare the difference between animal-assisted therapy, equine-assisted activity and crisis intervention.

Spanninger will be sharing her personal story of living with Muscular Dystrophy.

"It's all about raising awareness for rec therapy as a profession and about those persons with disabilities and the challenges they rise up to," said Frisco.

MEDIA CONTACT: Robb King | 724.738.2199 | robert.king@sru.edu