Challenger registration is now closed.
There is no fee for the Challenger program.
The purpose of Challenger Gym is to provide a community gym program for kids in the Great Valley School District
who have physical and/or other special challenges. The emphasis is on having fun, providing physical activities
in which the kids can successfully participate, and forging relationships between kids with special challenges
and GVHS High School students.
Children participating are paired with one or two
high school students. There are five or six different activities during the one-hour session.
There has been such a great response from the kids as far as enthusiasm and excitement. Kids with varying abilities
are participating ranging from driving power wheelchairs to being able to run the length of a basketball court.
The kids might work individually with their high school buddy on an activity such as throwing tennis balls to targets
taped to a wall. Then we get back together and one by one throw balls to a large target. When a child announced last
week "OK time to cheer for me" the high school students responded with lots of laughs and cheers and it was evident
that everyone was having fun.
The program was obviously created to fill a niche for kids who would have difficulty participating in traditional
community sports programs. Unexpectedly, the benefits to our high school students are also enormous. We are seeing
high school kids becoming very comfortable working with kids with varied disabilities. There will certainly be a
life-long impact on their interactions with people with differing abilities. As one high school student remarked
"This is actually really fun. " It has been great that Challenger Gym is turning out to be such a positive experience
for all the kids involved.