Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Skating Ahead of the Storm Again - This Time in Boston

Big snow on the way tomorrow, but today the sun shone and the roads were dry for my monthly trip to Revere for our adaptive skating program. Lots of people came to play at the rink today and the Boston Herald sent a photographer! Another great program with smiling faces on the ice - people on skates, wheelchairs, ice sleds and yak trax - and socializing (hot cocoa!) in the lobby when anyone needed to warm up.

Ice action included slalom, shooting goals with pucks and balls, and the ever popular crash tower made of foam blocks. A few new spontaneous ways to play catch emerged - a rolling by hand version and a kicking version (very gently with skates on!). New and returning participants included people in power wheelchairs, a group of people with brain injuries, a trio of spanish speaking sisters, and of course our favorite man in bear paw mittens below.


I love the Cronin Rink for its state of the art accessibility - even the bleachers are wheelchair accessible! Don't miss out! - We'll be back in Revere on February 8, March 8, and April 5, each date a Tuesday from 11:30am-1:30pm. To sign up and for more info, contact Heidi at 413-577-3840 or heidi.marie-peterson@state.ma.us.

Afterwards I went to scout out the Kelly Rink in Jamaica Plain for a program we will offer there on Tuesday, February 15 from 11am to 2pm. I'm very excited we are able to offer an adaptive skating program at an OUTDOOR rink in Boston. Everything there looks easily accessible and the rink is around the corner from a T stop (48 Jamaica Plain Center) - which is good because parking is limited. (Now to find out if the T stop is accessible!) All was quiet until 3pm when older kids arrived for after school exercise. What a treat it was to catch a glimpse of their energy on the ice!


Kelly Rink is located at 1 Marbury Terrace in J.P.
From what I hear its a popular place for teens weekday afternoons and Saturdays, with families with younger kids taking over on Sundays. Skate rentals are the ultimate in affordability - $1 if you are 17 and younger, $2 for 18 and older. There is one ice sled there, with a handle for pushing and a set of sticks for self propulsion. Ask for it at the skate shop on site anytime the rink is open: Sunday - Friday 12-7:30pm and Sunday 1-7:30pm. And again - if you can make it on a Tuesday - don't miss this great opportunity for outdoor skating in an accessible location with lots of sleds. Call 617-626-1294 for more info and to pre-register.


7 comments:

Oatie - IWillSkate on Ice said...

Wow, the adaptive skating programme sounds absolutely fantastic. What age do you think someone could propel themselves? His arms are pretty ok? He so wants to skate but I'm going to have to take on our Town, and fight them to let him skate with adaptive gear. We live in a hockey time so all our public skates are un-policed and people want to skate like it's shinny or play tag and use able bodied kids as pylons/cones. Love Oaties mum x

Marcy Marchello said...

Oaties Mum! Age varies depending on strength I think - the slicker the ice, the easier it is to propel. Sleds have a stroller bar option so people in them can be pushed too. Check out Unique Inventions in Peterborough Ontario - they make the gear. Do you live in Canada? I'm thinking there's got to be some access friendly skating venue there somewhere - maybe Unique Inventions would know.

Oatie - IWillSkate on Ice said...

Dear Marcy,

Thanks for replying so fast, I we do live in Canada, and I will contact Unique interventions. I just found a nice sledge hockey club up in town that have a mix of people all walks of life and they have volunteers who will teach them to use it. He would have to be a minimum of 5years old, but I was exploring the possibility that he could learn to use the sledge (even if aided at first), the stroller bar sounds great! So when he's old enough and if he wants to, he could then explore the sport. His older brother could play on the same team if he wanted to and it might be a nice way of them sharing a sport together. And you never know if he could stand well enough to do conventional skating than he could do that too. I met this amazing man who has really sever Parkinson's a the weekend, and he could just just just shuffle, and he used to be a good skier and they take him up and give him a gentle shove and he ski's well his friend was saying as he can still lean and move his feet a little - How amazing is that! I could see our town saying that his skating sledge would impede safety! Which I don't agree, we've met some more senior in age people in at a rink in town with their Zimmer frame as it's the only way that they can still skate, we didn't find them a hazard or a danger.

Marcy Marchello said...

Hi again - I think those seniors set a precedent for more inclusive skating in your town. Since the town allows their equipment already, you have a good case for asking the town to allow Oatie to skate using whatever equipment he needs, especially equipment designed for inclusive skating.

I love the idea of Oatie and his brother sled skating together. In our programs we often have a mix of able-bodied and those with disabilities on sleds playing together - it can really level the playing field.

If you have a yard and some financial resources, another possibility might be to make your own rink! I'm not sure what the investment is to do so - there is a company out there called NICE ICE I think that sells the supplies and markets to families for backyard rinks.

Oatie - IWillSkate on Ice said...

Well.. We're lucky the previous owners put in a tennis court, we were all set for our outside rink...my hubby sealed the tarps in the Summer, we had the wood and tarp down but we've been in am arctic freeze for here we'd have a few days then a reprive so we're mustering the courage to go out and shovel a few tonnes on ice and snow. Thank you for all your help support and ideas xxx

karthikeyan said...

just linked this article on my facebook account. it’s a very interesting article for all.


Wheels Florida

karthikeyan said...

I actually enjoyed reading through this posting.Many thanks.

Wheels Florida