The TJC Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program will host a “Tri My Best Triathlon” for special needs children from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 14, in the Ornelas Health & Physical Education Center.
Members of the public are invited to attend as spectators, and admission is free.
“The kids will be able to swim, bike and run by using adaptations and special equipment,” said Amanda Storer, TJC PTA professor. “We have about 31 participants of different abilities and 75 volunteers who have signed up to participate.”
Storer said she first learned of the special triathlon when she volunteered at a similar event at Cook Children’s Hospital in Dallas.
“I wanted to bring it here, so we took a group of current students to volunteer in the Cook triathlon last fall to get ideas and start planning our own event,” she said.
Participants will complete in each event with an assigned student or therapist buddy and will have about five other participants in their heat. Volunteers include faculty and students from PTA, Wellness and Exercise Science and Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) programs as well as community volunteers and PTA alumni.
“The kids will get the satisfaction of being able to complete an event that may have felt out of reach before,” she said. “We have accommodated for any perceived limitation. They will feel able-bodied at this triathlon.”
Storer said the event will not only be a fun event for kids, it will also allow TJC students to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to practical use and to practice communicating and collaborating with other healthcare professionals.
“We’ve delegated many responsibilities to our current students, and we’re excited to be able to watch them in action,” she said.