Radford University, Jefferson College physical therapy students join effort to promote adaptive athletics
Thirteen Radford University Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students dove in the Christiansburg Recreation Center pool to introduce area residents with spinal cord injuries and neurological disorders to the fun of kayaking on Nov. 3.
The DPT candidates were joined by Jefferson College of Health Sciences (JCHS) Physical Therapy Assistant colleagues to support the event, hosted by Wheel Love, a support group for individuals and family members of those with spinal cord injury and neurological conditions.
“Physical therapy can have a positive impact on peoples’ lives,” said Isaac Yoder, a second-year DPT student from Harrisonburg, Virginia. “Beyond the exercise and therapy, there is a social impact of events like this on both us and our clients. It is fun to interact outside the clinical environment.”
Scott Mills, Wheel Love founder, president and an adaptive athlete due to a spinal injury, appreciates the expertise and enthusiasm the DPT students bring to his organization’s work.
“These volunteers are great. They help us reach out to people with injuries or conditions that might limit them,” Mills said. “The Radford DPT and JCHS PTA students know ways to coach and their love for the activities and therapies help us share the joy that participation can bring.”
Adaptive sporting and recreational events, such as kayaking, bowling and wheelchair basketball brings Radford DPT students together with those with spinal cord injuries and neurological disorders to share the healthy benefits of active participation.
According to Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy Daniel Miner, the Radford DPT participation is part of the program’s ongoing effort to engage its students in the community and enhance their skill sets.
DPT students, led by Miner, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy Kevin Parcetich and Adjunct Professor Kellen Smith, have also developed educational resource materials related to spinal cord injury and neurological conditions that are published on the Wheel Love website.