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The Fourth Annual Junior Sports Day at the Spokane Shriners Hospital - October 18, 2001

The Spokane Shriners Hospital sponsored the Fourth Annual Junior Sports Day for children with physical disabilities. The event was held in conjunction with disAbility Fest, a community event of workshops, exhibits, activities and entertainment that highlights the resources available to the disabled community at a local community college.

The junior sporting events included archery, rock climbing, wheelchair basketball and rugby, adaptive cycling, adaptive golf, wheelchair tennis and wheelchair racing. Participants tried each activity and were awarded an Olympic-style medal for their achievements.

Parents and siblings were also included and encouraged to be active participants with their child, making this a family event. The goal of the event was to introduce disabled children to sports activities in which they can participate on a regular basis. Experiencing success in physical activities directly impacts self-esteem and promotes physical fitness in disabled children.

The Parade of Champions was the grand finale of the event. Each participant rolled between two rows of parents, volunteers, coaches, etc., getting a "high five" from everyone for a job well done, with "We are the Champions" playing in the background. These kids were definitely champions this day!

Many volunteers were essential to the success of the event. A special thanks goes to the Moonshriners. These Shriners, along with their Ladies, helped with set-up and registration, and sponsored the Climbing Wall, a favorite activity of the kids. A representative from the US Golf Association-Adaptive Services brought equipment and demonstrated adaptive golf techniques. The US Tennis Association also had a representative there to assist with adaptive techniques for tennis.

The hospital is also grateful to the many Shriners Hospital staff who made this event the huge success it was. Recreational Therapist Carol Kaczka coordinated the event with several other recreation staff assisting, including Kathy Carson, Andy Sims and Tomie Zuchetto.

The Rehabilitation staff who brought their expertise to this great event included Shelly Mader (with her husband Kris and children Brynn and Ross), Rob Mildes, Karen Blakely, and PT student Katie Aiello (with husband Ryan). Kory Barr from the Motion Analysis Lab, Renee Wolbert from Human Resources, and Debbie Morales from Nutritional Services also volunteered their time. Karon Snider and Patty Sprute from Patient Care Services were a huge help with all the clerical pieces of holding an event of this magnitude.

This year, 20 participants, 60 family members and 35 volunteers all contributed to the success of Junior Sports Day. Each year we hope this event grows and expands with new activities, more participants, and most of all, increased opportunities for recreational independence for the patients of Shriners Hospitals.

Registration begins for all the participating Shrine patients.

Tomie Zuchetto, Recreation Therapy Manager, played a key role in organizing the event.

Patients pass the basketball. Shriner's wives volunteer with registration.

A Spokane Shriners Hospital patient prepares to toss a basketball into the net.

Learning bike racing on the junior track.

Tennis was a popular activity at the event.

On the Climbing Wall.
Shrine patient on racing bike. Special chairs and golfing equipment for Shrine patients.

El Katif Shriners of Spokane volunteered to help with the all-day program.

All participating Shriners Hospital patients received a medallion.

Shriners Hospital staff with all the patients.