SRU to host VIP Sports Summer Camp June 13-17


VIP sports camp tennis

The VIP Sports Summer Camp will offer a variety of sporting events, including tennis, to blind and visually impaired athlete during its June 13-17 run at Slippery Rock University.

May 24, 2016

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Fifty blind and visually impaired children, ages 5 to 18, will visit Slippery Rock University June 13-17 to participate in the VIP Sports Summer Camp, sponsored by SRU's adapted physical activity program.

Now in its 11th year, the camp offers a variety of sports that have been specially adapted for attendees, including: archery, soccer, rock climbing, goalball, swimming, judo, track and field, kayaking, biking and horseback riding. Two new additions to this year's lineup are paddle boarding and ice hockey.

Ice hockey sessions will take place at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry, with instruction provided by SRU adapted physical activity students and members of the Pens Elite youth hockey team. Games will be conducted using a specially designed puck that is larger and slower than traditional versions. The bigger size and slower speed help visually impaired players see the puck, while its hollow steel design allows for auditory tracking courtesy of interior ball bearings.

"There has been a huge push of late, throughout North America, to make ice hockey accessible to the blind and visually impaired," said Wendy Fagan, instructor of physical and health education and VIP Sports director. "It's very exciting to be able to jump in and make it happen with our program."

abigail kantz


Abigail Kantz, an adapted physical activity graduate student who is interning with the camp this summer, was first introduced to VIP Sports last fall through a practicum. The experience resonated so much with the Beaver Falls native that she plans to make a career out of coaching adapted athletes.

"I want children who are blind or visually impaired to feel empowered and know that they can do anything they want to do," Kantz said. "(Wendy) has shown me so much and shared with me the joy of helping these kids push and challenge themselves in reaching new heights. It's wonderful to be able to (adapted athletes) bring out the absolute best in themselves."

Adapted athletes from across Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia will participate in this year's camp.

Additional information about the VIP Sports Summer Camp is available by contacting Fagan at: 724.738.2791 or

MEDIA CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine | 724.738.4854 |