At Ädelbrook, we focus on ability, not disability. Our Jordan and Greenbriar residents continue to discover their unique capabilities through innovative programming and community partnerships. While some of our residential youth are able to participate in Special Olympics and other team sports, not all can. However, one activity that suits them all is running.
Running is arguably the world’s most accessible sport; from jogging to sprinting, it all begins with putting one foot in front of the other. Thanks to a grant that has paid for race registration from the Hartford Wolf Pack Community Foundation, many of our young men have run in community 5K races throughout the summer and are also registered to compete this fall.
Rocky Hill High School Terrier Tough Obstacle Course Race in 2015 was their first encounter with competitive running. Our Jordan House boys formed a team and that ignited an interest that has continued to grow. It’s been so much fun, many of the staff volunteer to come and run with the teens during races that occur over the weekend. A number of the race organizations have been extremely generous by waiving the fees for the staff to run with the boys.
“The boys are really building a great rapport with the staff as they run these races together. The staff are there supporting and encouraging them,” said Stormi Halpin, Behavior Analyst on Jordan House. “The bigger kids help the smaller kids, and cheer them on,” said Stormi.
Running provides many benefits, not just better health and stamina, but it also provides the sensory input they need, and it’s rewarding. Beyond the medals that reward their efforts, are the feelings of empowerment, acceptance and accomplishment. For our boys the race truly is won one step at a time.