STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — If quarantining due to COVID-19 has proven anything, it’s that people are creative when it comes to reaching clients and maintaining a sense of community. The most recent organization to use technology to stay connected, is Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports, or STARS, which will debut a new video program called Recreation Nation on Tuesday, March 31.
Since STARS wasn’t able to conclude the winter season, it was looking for a way to continue to reach local adaptive physical education students. Like many gyms, studios and sporting groups, STARS quickly decided a video approach was best. From there, the idea evolved to something even bigger.
“I think it’s really important because right now everything in life is really crazy,” said Theresa Fox, STARS programs coordinator. “Lots of people aren’t working, kids aren’t in school. I think this will provide a much-needed outlet and a distraction from all of those stressors in life. It’s an opportunity for everyone to come together.”
On Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:30 a.m., throughout April, STARS will publish videos with physical activities, crafts and other tasks, aiming to engage kids who are physically or intellectually disabled. Everyone will be able to access the videos, which will be available through the STARS website, Youtube channel, or Facebook page. At the same locations, participants can find a tentative schedule and list of supplies needed to complete the activities.
STARS has ensured that the supplies will be things most people will already have around the house.
“If you were to google something online, things to entertain children, a lot of things that pop up might be a little bit too fast paced or a little too advanced,” said STARS Volunteer and Special Events Coordinator Rebecca Hext. “It also might include using things that you don’t have in your house while in quarantine.”
“We wanted to put something out in the world that parents can trust to be enriching for their kids’ experience,” she added.
The videos, edited by Hext, will feature Fox, leading viewers through different activities. The first video will feature yoga and stretching. Future activities will include a personalized puzzle, indoor mini golf and meditation.
In order to reach her intended audience, Fox said she works through things slowly, will often repeat things, and keeps the steps and supplies minimal so as to not overwhelm the participant. As an added bonus, her talkative siberian husky, Nova, might make an appearance.
The name, Recreation Nation, allows STARS to potentially continue producing similar videos even after the quarantine period is over.
“Wanted to name it something funny that relates to everything happening in the world, but then we thought to ourselves, if this is really successful and something that continues on later, we still want to be able to provide this,” said Fox. “Maybe we’ll make it an all encompassing name with everything we’re doing.”
The program will run through the month of April. STARS already has a few ideas for May before summer programs are scheduled to start.
“We’ve been planning summer programs throughout the winter and now we have more time than usual,” said Hext. “Everything will be planned and set. If we have to move it back two weeks, we’ll move everything back two weeks.”
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