Arrowhead Youth Games Give Kids With Disabilities the Chance to Play

DULUTH, Minn. — The weather was perfect Thursday for the Arrowhead Youth Games which gives kids with disabilities a chance to get in on all types of adapted recreational activities.

More than 300 students from 24 elementary and middle schools were at UMDs field house. The kids were taking part in events like climbing, dance, parachute games, archery, wheelchair races, disc golf, and more. The games are all about building self-confidence and encouraging an active, healthy lifestyle.

Eric Larson from Courage Kenny said, “There are a lot of times these children first sort of exposure to adaptive activities in the community. They learn about it today and perhaps throughout the year they say wow I didn’t know I could go skating or participate in other things throughout the day or throughout the year.”

Teachers say there’s a mixture of emotions that the students experience leading up to the games.

Lyndsay Carter, a Special Education Teacher at Northern Lights School in Superior, talked about the kids’ reactions, “Ohhh pure joy. Students who weren’t really excited about this or really apprehensive are…I’m just watching them have so much fun and saying, “THIS IS THE BEST DAY EVER.”

The games are run by Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute which serves youth and adults with physical disabilities, as well as youth on the autism spectrum and their families.

Volunteers from UMD including faculty and students help make this event possible each year.

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