Lose the Training Wheels teaches individuals with disabilities to ride bicycles

Published 9:05 am Thursday, May 9, 2013

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshall University’s School of Kinesiology is hosting its third annual Lose the Training Wheels Camp July 15-19 at Huntington High School.

The program is offered in concert with the non-profit charity iCan Shine. The camp teaches participants with disabilities how to independently ride a two-wheel bicycle.

iCan Shine is a national organization that works with local organizations to host camps in individual communities. Staff members travel the country conducting the camps, and have an average success rate of approximately 80.

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Participants attend one 75-minute session each day for five consecutive days.

Dr. Gregg Twietmeyer, assistant professor of kinesiology at Marshall, said the benefit is twofold: one, participants can learn the joys of riding a bike, which can lead to increased self-esteem and confidence; and two, Marshall students, who volunteer as spotters for the riders, get to see firsthand the important role of physical activity and play in human well-being and culture.

“Our enrollment more than doubled from 2011 to 2012, and we’re hoping for further growth in 2013. The more kids enrolled the more kids we can help discover the joys of riding a bike.” Twietmeyer said.

To be eligible to register for the camp, participants must be at least 8 years old and have a diagnosed disability. They must have a minimum inseam of 20 inches, weigh less than 220 pounds and be able to walk without assistive devices. Teens and adults may participate as well.

The registration fee is $100 and some scholarships are available. For more information on registration or volunteering, visit www.marshall.edu/lttw.

For more information on the camp, call Twietmeyer at 304-696-2938 or Dr. Jarod Schenewark, assistant professor of kinesiology, at 304-696-2937.

Individuals interested in helping to defray the costs of the camp through financial donations may contact Rick Robinson, director of development with the Marshall University College of Health Professions, at 304-696-7081.