These organizations are dedicated to giving everyone the opportunity to be physically active, regardless of any limitations. Whether it’s coming together to play a simple baseball game, or being able to enjoy the spirit of nature while bonding with the animal, the volunteers enable these individuals to participate in physical activities that they otherwise may not have the opportunity to do.
The Miracle League is based on a concept that all children, no matter what age, disability, or skill level, should have the opportunity to play baseball. This program had to be developed from the ground up, and it would not have been possible without the help from generous volunteers. It began with having to develop a wheelchair friendly environment to play on, including wheelchair accessible dugouts and playing surfaces. The fields are constructed of a soft rubber-playing surface and the bases & pitching mound are painted on the surface to avoid any injury.
The rules of the game are very simple; all players on each team will be allowed to bat and score every inning before the teams switch sides. No player will ever called “out” at any base, and all players and teams are considered winners. Before each game starts, all players are partnered up with a “buddy”, which aids the players with everything from making sure that they are properly hydrated throughout day, to helping run the bases and helping coach while in the field. This program would be nearly impossible without the help of these volunteers.
For more information, please visit Miracle League at http://www.miracleleague.com/.
Spirit Therapies is a PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International) accredited facility that was started and is still coordinated by Laurie Willmott. It offers anyone with physical or mental disabilities the opportunity to have a therapeutic release through working with trained therapy horses, invested volunteers, and Laurie’s instruction. She is also a PATH certified instructor, and she uses her abilities and knowledge of the skills necessary to work with almost any patient that comes to the group for help. Her care and compassion for the animals and humans that she works with alike is unparalleled. It does not matter what affliction a person suffers from, because any amount of time spent on the property or in a lesson can leave a lasting impact, regardless if the results are seen immediately or internalized.
People may not generally realize or appreciate the fact that riding a horse involves more than just sitting there, and engages many muscle groups, particularly the core muscles. Engaging the core muscles, especially for the people with muscular disorders, can be invaluable for them to regain strength and coordination. Riding the horse, along with stretches and many other activities, both cognitive and physical, gives each person an opportunity to use their muscles and engage their brain during each lesson. Giving the horse commands and learning how to steer the horse gives each client a great sense of accomplishment, and improves their morale over time. This, combined with the opportunity for them to connect with the animals they work with, in a safe environment with volunteers to support them and ensure their safety during the lessons, makes Spirit Therapies a perfect environment for healing and progress for people that otherwise may not be granted this opportunity in everyday life.
For more information, please visit Spirit Therapies at http://www.spirittherapies.org/.