Autism Mentorship Program launches “Learn to Play” video series

Program aimed at teaching sports to those on spectrum goes virtual amidst COVID-19 

Despite the pandemic's limit on gatherings, AMP is forging on in a virtual setting.
Credit: 
AMP

The Queen’s chapter of the Autism Mentorship Program (AMP) launched the first iteration of its “Learn to Play” video series on Feb. 2, featuring varsity athletes demonstrating skills and exercises with hopes of providing online resources to youth on the spectrum in the local community.

Releasing 30 videos in total—three per week over the next 10 weeks—the series focuses on six sports: soccer, football, basketball, swimming, rugby, and volleyball. Over 30 Queen’s varsity athletes participated in the filming and production of the videos.

To learn more about the video series, The Journal spoke with Josh Mosley, Queen’s director for the AMP. A first-year master’s student and fourth-year football vet, Mosley detailed what the Autism Mentorship Program does on a regular basis and what it ultimately hopes to achieve with the new video series.

“AMP is a one-on-one mentorship program between Queen’s varsity athletes and youths in the local area on the autism spectrum,” he said. “We look to facilitate pairings between the athletes and the youths […] and facilitate motor skill development and social skill development.”

With in-person opportunities limited due to COVID-19, the AMP decided to virtually recreate regular mentorship experiences with the video series. Structured to emulate the previous in-person demonstrations, the series aims to continue providing the same knowledge, motivation, and support for local youths on the spectrum the AMP has since its founding in 2017.

The series is available for viewing on multiple platforms free of charge. AMP’s Instagram page, YouTube channel, and website are three places where the videos are currently being posted.

Although geared toward youth on the autism spectrum, Mosley noted that the videos are accessible and can act as a resource for anyone who desires to learn more about exercise or a specific sport.

“We tried to ensure that each video has multiple progressions, and multiple entry points for people of different ability,” he said.

“Whether you’re youth on the spectrum, or someone looking to live a more happy, healthy, active lifestyle–you can find value in these videos.”

Just under 50 people—including the AMP team, student-athletes, and the film and production team—contributed to the creation of the project.

When asked about his ultimate goal for the program, Mosley said he and the other members of the AMP hope to continue providing valuable resources to those who really need them.

“We want to facilitate relationships and provide a resource for kids who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunities to partake in much athletic activity or might not be as exposed to it.”

“We want to bring it to them as much as we can.”

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