The Orthotic & Prosthetic Assistance Fund (OPAF) hosted four First Clinics within the last six weeks: McKeever’s First Ride in Warwick, New York; First Volley in Portola Valley, California; First Swing/Learn to Golf in Orland Park, Illinois; and First Swim in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
McKeever’s First Ride
OPAF and sponsors, Touch Bionics, Livingston, Scotland; Engineered Silicone Products, Newton, New Jersey; and Prosthetic Orthotic Associates of Middletown, New York, hosted a McKeever’s First Ride on September 12 at the Winslow Therapeutic Riding Center. This was the second consecutive year that Winslow, a North American Handicapped Riders Association (NAHRA) barn, hosted the event. It was OPAF’s third McKeever’s First Ride event across the country this year.
Seven participants attended, three of whom attended the 2009 McKeever’s First Ride at Winslow. Six of the seven were able to mount and ride, both in the arena and also for a short trail ride. All seven learned about grooming and groundwork as well as communing with the horses.
A First Volley adaptive tennis clinic was held at Alpine Hills Tennis & Swimming Club in Portola Valley, California on September 18. First Volley instructor and amputee tennis coach Stan Backovsky led the session, and was assisted by Alpine Hills Director of Tennis, Nigel Pugh. United States Tennis Association (USTA) Northern California Bay area Tennis Service Representative, David Hong, was also present, along with local sponsors, Gary and Brenda Berke of Berke Prosthetics, Redwood City, California; and Cascade Orthopedic Supply, Chico, California, represented by Andy May, Cascade’s Southwest account manager and renowned amputee athlete.
The five participants were put through skills and drills, both individually and as a group. Live ball action followed with play among the participating adults.
First Swing/Learn to Golf
In Orland Park, Illinois, OPAF partnered with Optech Orthotics & Prosthetics, Kankakee, Illinois, to host a First Swing/Learn to Golf Clinic on September 24 at Silver Lake Country Club. Despite scattered showers and gusty winds, three participants attended the three-hour session along with volunteers, staff, family, and friends. Don Zommer and Bud Sanders, National Amputee Golf Association (NAGA) First Swing instructors, led the clinic. Silver Lake’s teaching pro Gregg Tengerstrom and his staff assisted them.
All First Swing participants worked on their technique and hitting the ball. Adaptive equipment was also available to try.
Ability Prosthetics and Orthotics sponsored an OPAF First Swim Clinic on October 9 at the Mount St. Mary’s University pool facilities, Emmitsburg, Maryland. The clinic was led by First Swim Director, Jason Wening, CPO, a five time Paralympic Champion swimmer. Wening provided one-on-one coaching both in the water and on the pool deck.
The First Swim clinic saw all registered participants attend, along with several Ability P&O employees.