Allendale, Michigan– Camp is about meeting friends, learning new skills, and having fun. For the 50 campers at the 2013 Junior Wheelchair Sports Camp, it’s all that and more. The goal of this week is to help campers feel confident to lead normal lives through participating in sports and everyday activities.
The camp is run by staff from the Mary Free Bed Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports Program. “Throughout the years, we’ve helped thousands of children feel empowered,” says Maria Besta, Camp Director and Manager of the Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports Program. She continues, “It’s an amazing thing to see how much the campers learn and grow each year.”
Held at Grand Valley State University, campers try their hand at a variety of athletics including swimming, basketball, tennis, sled hockey, disc golf, football, kayaking, and softball. Besta says, “Sports are more than games for these kids, they help create a positive quality of life.”
There are 20 instructors and staff members, including some who are former campers. In addition, 30 volunteers lend a hand to keep things running smoothly.
Camp ends Friday, August 2nd with a closing ceremony at 12:30 pm. Each camper will receive a yearbook to remember the good times – until next year.
Mary Free Bed Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports Program
Approximately 700 athletes participate in Mary Free Bed’s Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports Program. There are nearly a dozen competitive teams, some with national rankings. These sports support physical, emotional and mental health for participants and their families.
Sports include basketball, hand cycling, sled hockey, quad rugby, softball and tennis. In addition, the Junior Wheelchair Sports Camp is held every summer. Clinics are also offered for camping, golfing, kayaking/rowing, racing, sailing, scuba diving, snow skiing, softball, water skiing and rock climbing.
Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital
Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital has served the needs of Michigan children and adults for more than a century. Comprehensive services and an exclusive focus on rehabilitation enable specialty physicians and staff to achieve outstanding clinical outcomes. Mary Free Bed is a not-for profit, nationally accredited, acute care rehabilitation hospital with 80 inpatient beds and numerous outpatient specialty programs at its Grand Rapids location. For additional information, visit www.maryfreebed.com or call 800.528.8989.