The University of Rhode Island Kinesiology Department recently helped 23 local children of varying abilities learn to surf at Narragansett Town Beach thanks to a community-adapted physical education program called Surf Ocean Therapy Intervention.
The children, ages 5-19, recently concluded an eight-week program, where they worked one-on-one with surfers. The children suffered from a range of disorders including Down syndrome, autism, attention deficit disorder and other learning disabilities or cognitive delays.
“There aren’t very many activities for children with disabilities, and the result of the pilot surfing program we did last year showed so many positives,” said assistant kinesiology professor Emily Clapham, who created the surfing program. “There was increased core and upper-body strength, enhanced balance and just a better overall sense of well-being.”
The Kinesiology Department offers the community a range of adapted physical education programs throughout the year. •