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Claremont Courier - A Local Nonprofit Newsroom

Physical activity encouraged at bike camp for kids with disabilities

A national nonprofit organization, iCan Shine, aims to host a five-day bike program from June 27 to July 1 at Fairplex in Pomona.

Fundraising began to pay for the camp, which will teach as many as 40 people with disabilities to independently ride a conventional two-wheel bicycle.

Movement and play are the basis for all iCan Shine programs, according to the organization’s website. Recreational skills can be difficult to master for individuals with disabilities like autism or Down syndrome. Breaking skills into small, achievable goals and celebrating each accomplishment builds the self-esteem and confidence needed to continue the challenges of learning, according to iCan Shine.

Learning to overcome the challenge of riding a bicycle benefits people with disabilities by enabling them to participate in a leisure activity with their friends and family, stay physically fit, gain confidence and improve their sense of accomplishment and self-esteem.

Approximately 80 percent of the people who complete the iCan Bike program ride a two-wheel bicycle independently (at least 75 feet with no assistance) by the end of the five-day program. The remaining 20 percent make tremendous progress toward this goal and leave the programs accompanied by parents and/or siblings trained as “spotters” to pick up where the training left off.

The first day to register will be at Claremont’s Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Largely through the effort of Lourdes Jovel, the mother of an 8-year-old with Down syndrome, nearly $3,000 has been raised so far, however, much more is needed. Local dentist and dad Wally Cox has offered a weekend getaway to La Quinta as a raffle prize. Those who donate will be entered into the drawing. Local sponsors include Fairplex, Sustainable Claremont, Eureka Burger,  á la Minute and Sunset Cycles.

To learn more, visit icanshine-claremont.com.

To donate, make checks payable to iCan Shine and write “Claremont Camp” in the memo portion of the check. Mail checks to 505 Carleton Place, Claremont, CA 91711. If you have questions, call Dr. Cox at (909) 367-5223 or email Ms. Jovel at Lourdes.Jovela@gmail.com.

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