Maui News

County Offers Adaptive Kayaking for Children with Disabilities

September 28, 2009, 2:34 PM HST
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The County of Maui has launched a new kayaking program for children and young adults with disabilities.  The adaptive kayaking program is run by the Department of parks and Recreation and gives disabled youth a chance to participate in the therapeutic ocean sport.  The next session is free and will be held November 21th in Olowalu.

Photo Courtesy: County of Maui.  (L-R) Fran Yamamoto, a Recreation Technician with the County Dept. of Parks & Recreation, paddles with Karen "Alohilani" Hue-Sing Ledesma in the adaptive kayaking session held in August. Karen is a member of the Mayor's Commission on Persons with Disabilities.

Photo Courtesy: County of Maui. (L-R) Fran Yamamoto, a Recreation Technician with the County Dept. of Parks & Recreation, paddles with Karen "Alohilani" Hue-Sing Ledesma in the adaptive kayaking session held in August. Karen is a member of the Mayor's Commission on Persons with Disabilities.

Children with disabilities ages 5-18 and young adults 18-21 enrolled in the Extended School Year are invited to participate. Kayaks, life vests and adaptive equipment, including glove-adapted paddles, side stabilizers and specialized straps, will be provided.  Participants must be accompanied by a caregiver, and are asked to bring a lunch, water, sunscreen and a swimsuit and hat. Pre-registration is required.

Space will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, and will be limited to accommodate the needs of participants. Taught by Ron Bass, the session will include instruction on the basics of kayaking, a safety review and supervised practice. Mr. Bass has extensive experience working with adults and children with disabilities, and has taught therapeutic kayaking for many years.

An initial session for adults with disabilities was held August 25, 2009 in partnership with the County of Maui Aquatics Division, RSSD and Mr. Bass. A total of 18 kayak participants and 11 assistants attended.

“This exciting program offers those with disabilities the opportunity to get out on the water, which is often too difficult without the right equipment and assistance,” said Tara Sabado, RSSD Inclusion Specialist.

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To register or for more information on the upcoming session, contact Sabado at ph. 270-7979 or [email protected]

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