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Adaptive sports fun at Strive summer picnic

Guests enjoy socialization at the picnic. Photo provided by Suzanne Burns (click for larger version)
August 13, 2014 - Students affected with a variety of disabilities were able to try out numerous adaptive sports during a strive summer picnic on July 20 at Clintonwood Park in Clarkston.

Strive Special Projects Director Drew Burns said activities, like the summer picnic, offered by Strive are meant to increase quality of life for both the disabled and their loved ones while increasing personal independence of the disabled.

At the picnic visitors enjoyed food, hand cycling, adaptive yoga, wheelchair hockey, lawn games and a variety of additional sports geared towards individuals in wheel chairs.

"The event was a huge success, bringing many community members to try out adaptive cycling, sports wheelchairs, get massages and have an overall fun day at the park," said Burns. "The event was planned by Strive to celebrate the recreational therapy profession and give individuals with disabilities a chance to try new sports."

Burns said the picnic was also planned to get the disabled active while having fun at the same time, and spreading the word about adaptive sports.

Donations were also collected to "dunk" Strive President and CEO Stella Husch in a dunk tank.

Burns said donations were collected from the dunk tank, also a huge success.

Clarkston Hot Yoga's Susan Stencil offered a special adaptive yoga at the picnic. Stencil offers a special yoga for disabled individuals each Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at her Clarkston studio.

Strive, a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organization, provides recreational therapy programs in Michigan and Florida. On a regular basis Strive plans numerous activities throughout the year including outings and events, like the summer picnic, to encourage the disabled to be active and socialize.

Hosted and planned by Strive Recreational, the Clintonwood event, was organized to provide adaptive sport opportunities for locals with various disabilities.

Disabled individuals that participate in the recreational therapy program at Strive are encouraged to meet physical, social and mental goals, said Burns.

Recreational therapists regularly visit clients at home and plan a variety of activities for people with developmental disabilities or disabilities caused from sickness or an injury.

In addition to the developmentally disabled, some of Strive's clients include injured veterans, amputee patients, strokes and heart attack patients and spinal cord injuries.

Strive thanked the community for their help with the event including donations from Independence Township Parks and Recreation, the Athletes with Disabilities Network, STAR Rehab, Koegel Meats, Clarkston Hot Yoga and Better Made Chips and several others.

Strive opened its location in Clarkston in 2003. Monies raised at special events, like the summer picnic, is used to help clients pay for services at Strive, they might otherwise not be able to afford.

In addition to providing recreational opportunities, the staff at Strive also advocates on behalf of the disabled population.

For more information about Strive visit their website at or call 248-922-1236.

Staff writer covering Independence Township and Clarkston area.
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