Treyton Brooks, 6, gets a tour on the trails around Westwood Lake with help from event volunteers during outdoor play day hosted by the Nanaimo Child Development Centre on Monday. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Nanaimo Child Development Centre helps provide adaptable play day for kids

Children with mobility challenges spent Monday on the water and trails at Westwood Lake Park

Children with special needs had no problem adapting to the great outdoors this week.

Nanaimo Child Development Centre teamed up with Power to Be and SUP4ALL, two companies from Victoria and Comox specializing in adaptive kayaking, trail-riders and stand-up paddle boards, to host the centre’s first outdoor play day at Westwood Lake Park.

Children spent the day kayaking, riding trails or paddle-boarding on and around the lake with help from parents, volunteers and staff from CDC and participating companies.

The event was the brainchild of Melanie Rioux, a physiotherapist with Nanaimo Child Development Centre, who wanted children with mobility challenges to experience outdoor sports through adaptive sport programs, but found there are virtually no outdoor sports programs tailored to them.

“Every other kid that we know goes and plays soccer or skis, all these things that they can do,” Rioux said. “What really hit me is that I moved to B.C. because of the outdoors – I ski and I bike and things like that – and we all know the benefits of individual and group sports and, especially, in the outdoors and the connection to nature. It hit me hard that though I was in a place like B.C., the perfect outdoor place, all my kids had access to absolutely nothing.”

The event also featured exhibits from Island-based companies that focus on adaptive sport equipment and programs, such as Sportability, Motion Specialties, Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports and Vipamat, a company specializing in wheelchairs that can be reconfigured to ride on multiple terrain surfaces.

Rioux hopes to make putdoor play day – which ran for five hours and had more than a dozen children and their parents take part – an annual event and bring more adaptive sport programs to Nanaimo.

“What people should know about this event is that most of the exhibitors and activities, they actually came from Comox, Victoria and Vancouver,” Rioux said. “They’re not in Nanaimo and that’s what we want. We want to bring those activities next door. They should be able to drive just 10 minutes to go do those activities, not have to drive two hours or take the ferry.”



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Children and adults got a chance to play in the great outdoors Monday when Nanaimo Child Development Centre hosted its first outdoor play day featuring adaptive activities, such as paddle boarding, trail riding and kayaking. CHRIS BUSH/Then News Bulletin

Melanie Rioux, a physiotherapist with Nanaimo Child Development Centre, wants to bring adaptive outdoor sports programs for children with disabilities to Nanaimo. Rioux organized the centre’s first outdoor play day to get children with mobility challenges at Westwood Lake Park on Monday and hopes to make it an annual event. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Just Posted

Harbour City Theatre Alliance builds on tradition with ‘A Christmas Carol’

Local adaptation of the Christmas classic returns to Nanaimo starting Nov. 21

Student tells Nanaimo courtroom she wasn’t allowed to leave indigenous smudging ceremony

Girl cross-examined Monday in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo

Nanaimo woman seeks knitters to make blankets for cats

Dale Burke inspired by creator of Comfort for Critters

City of Nanaimo’s budget talks start with 5.2-per cent tax increase

Series of special finance and audit meetings start Wednesday, Nov. 20

Lantzville seeks changes to policing cost model for small towns

Policing costs significantly increase once a municipality’s population exceeds 5,000

Cold, stormy winter forecast across much of Canada, The Weather Network predicts

In British Columbia temperatures will be slightly above normal and precipitation will be just below normal

‘Midget’ no more: Sweeping division name changes coming to minor hockey in Canada

Alpha-numeric division names will be used for the 2020-2021 season and beyond

Ottawa urges CN and union to continue talks as 3,200 workers go on strike

The rail workers began their strike after failing to reach a deal by a midnight deadline

Trans Mountain received $320M in government subsidies in first half 2019: report

The money included $135.8 million in direct subsidies and $183.8 million in indirect subsidies

UPDATED: Vancouver Island’s Joe gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty case

Melissa Tooshley expected in court on Thursday in same case

B.C. pushes for greater industry ‘transparency’ in gasoline pricing

Legislation responds to fuel price gap of up to 13 cents

B.C. petition calls for seat belts in new school buses

Agassiz bus driver collects 124,000 signatures in support

Nanaimo service station first in B.C. to be part of Petro-Canada’s ‘electric highway’

EV charge stations started operating last month at service station at Terminal and Princess Royal

Nanaimo school district starting from scratch on testing water for lead

Health Canada changed acceptable levels to 0.005 mg/L in March, prompting re-testing at schools

Most Read