Winter Adaptive Games take ARC by storm

PheKin students and Kingston youths come together for Disney-themed games on Saturday

Fifty-two local youths came to the ARC for the Winter Adaptive Games on Saturday. A total of $2,300 was raised by students.
Fifty-two local youths came to the ARC for the Winter Adaptive Games on Saturday. A total of $2,300 was raised by students.
Photo: 
Lenna Sonneveld (left) and Paula Wong, PheKin ’12, (right) participate in the Winter Adaptive Games.
Lenna Sonneveld (left) and Paula Wong, PheKin ’12, (right) participate in the Winter Adaptive Games.
Photo: 

Blair LaTour has competed in the annual Winter Adapted Games (WAG) for as long as his parents can remember.

The 21-year-old was at the ARC on Saturday for the Queen’s School of Physical Education and Kinesiology’s (PheKin) 12th-annual WAG — a day of activities ranging from swimming to sleigh rides for 52 local youths with physical and developmental disabilities.

LaTour is a provincial Special Olympics basketball player and an avid hockey player. On Saturday, he paired up with WAG volunteer Leah Gater, PheKin ‘12.

Gater was one of over 130 volunteers from the PheKin program helping out with the Disney-themed games. Before Saturday’s event, volunteers attended a four-hour training session on providing support to WAG competitors.

WAG was started by a group of local occupational therapists in 1990 before PheKin students took it over in 2000. This year, students raised nearly $2,300 for the event and the Physical and Health Education and Kinesiology Student Association donated $500 to cover the $2,700 total for the event. An additional donation of $500 was made to sponsor a local athlete for the Special Olympics.

Nick MacDonald and Jasmin Ma, both PheKin ‘12, co-chaired Saturday’s event.

“WAG is a great opportunity for volunteers as well as participants,” MacDonald said. “It gives volunteers an opportunity to interact with children in the community and open up options for them if they want to look into occupational or physical therapy.”

Competitors were divided into two groups on Saturday — one for kids aged five and 12 and another for those between 13 and 21. Representatives from the Special Olympics, Queen’s Revved Up and the H’Art School turned out to speak at closing ceremonies.

The H’art school is a local non-profit dedicated to sharing art with the developmentally disabled. Revved Up uses student volunteers to run twice-weekly exercise classes for people with impaired mobility.

MacDonald said it was a good chance for disabled participants to see the athletic options available to them.

“We wanted the kids to take away what they learned from interacting with Queen’s students and … apply it to all other days of the year,” MacDonald said. “We want them to see what other opportunities are out there.”

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