Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic, HKR 3220 and HKR 4210 students are learning outdoor skills that can be used during a time of social distancing and limited indoor facility access from course instructor Dr. TA Loeffler. Perhaps the most interesting topics taught in each course surround using inclusive equipment created by inventors from around the world. Much of the “T’Railway” around Newfoundland and Labrador is rugged terrain that can be difficult to use in an average wheelchair or with mobility aid. Students of these courses receive the opportunity to try equipment such as the GRIT Freedom Chair, a wheelchair technology that allows for all-terrain access. The following quotes were gathered from students in the courses:
“I found the inclusion equipment really fun and informative on the barriers of Physical Activity”
“It was amazing to see all the inclusion equipment we have right here in NL and how easy it makes it for everyone to participate in fun activities”
“The features of this equipment really shined a light on how common outdoor activities can be difficult for many people who use a wheelchair or mobility device. It was eye-opening.”
Physical activity provides health benefits that extend far beyond physical health. As many recreational facilities begin to shut their doors for an apparent second wave of COVID-19 cases in Newfoundland and Labrador, learning ways to make the outdoor environment more inclusive is critical and should be considered a priority.