Lots of friends and families cheered on the athletes during the whole school parade and also during the various sports stations at our eighth annual Young Athletes Program™ (YAP) on April 24.
Grand Marshal Kristin Kalloch led the parade, which was complete with a torch, flag waving, and banner carrying. Many phone cameras were in use during the event to capture the many smiles on the faces of athletes, teachers, and families.
Rise events included trike riding, obstacle courses, balance beams, climbing structures, parallel bars, basketball, soccer, ribbon play, and scooter boards. An award ceremony followed the activities. Each graduating Young Athlete/Unified Partner received a certificate and medal for their years of excellent participation.
Mandi DeWitt, the director of YAP for Special Olympic of Colorado (SOCO), also spoke with parents before the parade about the participation opportunities through SOCO Unified Sports for all children.
It is so very important for all children to develop a liking for sports and team-like activities. When children learn to enjoy these types of semi-structured activities at an early age, they are more likely to continue their interest in sports into adulthood. The Rise School of Denver provides the ideal setting for having all the children work together and support each other in such athletic endeavors.
Everyone has heard of the growing issue with child obesity in the U.S. Recent research has shown up to 18.5 percent of children 2–19 years of age are overweight. For children with some type of neurodevelopmental disability, the percentage is higher.
So wanting to and being able to participate in outdoor and indoor active play is a step toward better health and wellness. Active children develop important gross, fine motor, and social skills in addition to the expected positive health effects. Learning to throw, kick, climb, and play games help children succeed in school, interact with their peers and teams, and access their communities.
Here at Rise, we are working with your children to develop the foundational skills that are needed to participate in positive activities and sports. The Wednesday PT gross motor group activities and YAP curriculum contribute toward these opportunities. We hope to foster a life-long love of movement and participation!
Lisa Swenson. PT, C/NDT
JFK Partners/University of Colorado