SPRING BREAK: New Option For Kids With Special Needs

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Despite the cold and snow, area students will soon be out of school for spring vacation. You'll find plenty of options to keep the kids busy, including a new one designed for kids who may not be able to go full speed.

Climbing a rock wall is a work out for three-year-old Cain. Mom Marianne Crandall says, "He has Down syndrome, but I mean it's just an added bonus."

Crandall brings him to Courage League Sports in Urbandale at least two times a week. Melissa Clarke-Wharff says, "Courage League Sports is an adaptive sports and recreation facility primarily to serve the needs of children and young adults with special needs."

Clarke-Wharff opened the facility in November after being inspired by her son Jack. He says, "I came up with the name. I came up with the logo. I think my part is done."

Jack is 13. He suffered multiple strokes when he was eight. Clarke-Wharff says, "So, he was a typically developing little boy and played all those sports activities. And then he had to relearn how to walk, talk and become a left-handed person instead of a right handed person."

At Courage League Sports, he can play all the sports he used to, just at a different speed. He says, "Well, I basically like all of them, except for archery. I never was really good at that."

From basketball to soccer and volleyball, kids are able to do a variety of adaptive activities at CLS. And, they'll be able to do it while they're out of school during spring break. Clarke-Wharff says, "We're offering a camp Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of Spring Break. It's an hour and a half sessions for different age groups."

Kids can do free-play, join a game and try the climbing wall or even participate in an obstacle course. Clarke-Wharff says, "As a parent of kids they need something to do. So, we've just decided that we're going to run camps during school break times because it's important for kids to get out and move."

Spring Break camp is March 18, 19 and 20th. It's free for members of Courage League Sports. It costs $19 a session or $39 for all three days. Click here for more information.

1 Comment

  • Keri Roland

    Courage League is an awesome place! We spend our Saturday mornings there with Yoga and Zumba classes, then stay and play in the gym. My daughter has her “routine” of activities she does and pretty soon will have a birthday party there – she is so excited! CL is not just a place for those with physical limitations, either. My daughter has cognitive and speech delays which set her apart from her peers, as well as Autism, ADHD, Anxiety, and Sensory Processing Disorder. This all affects how she processes and interacts with others and I’m so glad there is a place she can have fun with friends without being judged for why she is acting the way she does.

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