Special thanks to Deirdra Murphy and Jim Gleason for contributing this summary of a great event.
Nine physical therapists from 5 states gathered on January 9th for FUNFitness training updates and networking at Special Olympics Massachusetts’ Yawkey Sports Training Center in Marlborough, Massachsuetts. SOMA was proud to host the FUNFitness clinical training at its state of the art sports training facility. Click here to read more about Yawkey Sports Training Center. Regional FUNFitness clinical directors received updated training information from Jim Gleason, Education and Research Coordinator for FUNFitness, and Deirdra Murphy, New England Regional Clinical Director, facilitated a workshop on networking and managing the issues, challenges, and successful strategies for FUNFitness events. FUNFitness clinical directors noted working in isolation and recruiting volunteers as significant challenges. The clinical directors also felt motivated to find strategies to increase volunteer recruitment increase the number of athletes screened and increase knowledge to professionals and the community about people with intellectual disabilities. As part of the training, ten SOMA athletes participated in a FUNFitness screening. The screening was video taped. SOMA and University Massachusetts Lowell Physical Therapy students, under the guidance of Dr. Deirdra Murphy, are collaborating to use the footage to produce a training video for future FUNFitness screenings. Participants were enthusiastic about the opportunity to network, share ideas and discuss issues and they recommended that this type of activity occur in the region on an annual basis.
For more information on the FUNFitness Program, or Healthy Athletes, contact Stephanie.Savarese@SpecialOlympicsMA.org.