INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Indianapolis Rowing Center is holding a summer camp that helps kids with disabilities pick up the sport of rowing.
“It’s always fun to watch kids come out of their shell a little bit and they’re a little nervous, but once they’re out on the boat a lot of those fears kind of go away, ” manager of the Joseph Maley Fitness Program, Korey Hernandez said.
Some of the kids are a little afraid when they first get in the boats on the lake at Eagle Creek Park.
However, with a little support and a lot of encouragement this camp at the Indianapolis Rowing Center is all about conquering those fears.
Joseph Maley Foundation Fitness and the Indianapolis Rowing Center partnered together to hold a summer camp for special athletes living with physical and mental disabilities.
“We have people who we roll the wheelchairs out to the dock. We help get them in the boat,” volunteer Angela Barnes said.
Barnes volunteers as an instructor for the camp and says from the beginning the kids have one rule they always need to remember.
“Everything has to be together,” she said.
“It’s been a lot of fun these last few years to be able to find sports for kids that may not have had a sport opportunity in the past or may not have found something that worked for them,” Hernandez said.
Their ultimate goal is to help these kids go beyond their limits.
“People put you in a box and try to determine what you can and can’t do,” Barnes said.
“That’s not always true and there’s nothing wrong with pushing the edge of that box or just stepping out of it and trying something different.”
Each stroke in the water builds more and more confidence in students like Kiara Lee.
“I feel very good like maybe I’ll learn something,” Lee said. “Maybe I’ll want to get out here one day and try it on my own.”
That encouragement can help them face the challenges they have when they leave the water.
” It can turn somebody’s day around,” Lee said.
“It’s really cool to see them really grow,” Hernandez said.
It’s an experience that leaves them with a question: “If I can row, what else can I do?” Barnes said.
The last 2019 summer camp session for rowing is Wednesday July 24, but the Indianapolis Rowing Center has programs that go on all year long.
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