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Preschool Sampler gives sports-lover Greyson introduction to team play

Preschool Sampler Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation HospitalGreyson Gibbs is an energetic first grader who loves sports and playing with his friends. His participation in the Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports Program’s new Preschool Sampler offers him the best of both worlds.

“He loves all the games they play and seeing all of his friends on a weekly basis,” said Greyson’s mom, Leigh. “It’s been such a fun experience for Grey, and he looks forward to it every week.”

The Preschool Sampler class gives children ages 3 to 7 who use a wheelchair for mobility – like Greyson, who has spina bifida – with the opportunity to try a variety of sports.

“The program was created to allow children with disabilities who are not yet old enough to join one of our teams to begin learning some basic skills needed for adaptive sports and to have a chance to participate in some organized programming,” said Mike Burkhart, a Mary Free Bed recreational therapist who coordinates the Preschool Sampler.

Children are introduced to sports such as basketball, baseball and tennis. Skill-building, teamwork and game play are incorporated into the six-week class, which is held at the Mary Free Bed YMCA.

“He has gained so much confidence since starting,” Leigh said. “He loves all sports and is so excited to be on a ‘team’ and participate.”

Greyson, who just turned 7, will be able to join a team next year.

“Without this program, Grey would be much more hesitant to start with the older kids,” Leigh said. “This is giving him the confidence he needs to move forward.”

For more information on the Preschool Sampler and other Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports programs and classes, call 616.840.8356 or click here.

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