Ottawa Children's Treatment Centre- Ontario, Ottawa

GoodLife Kids Foundation is supporting Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre’s Recreation Therapy Program.

The Recreation Therapy Program helps children and youth with physical and developmental disabilities develop the skills they need to successfully participate in community physical and recreation activities, so they become active and contributing members of their communities.

Give It a Go and Trailblazer programs offer children ages 6 – 18 the opportunity to try different adapted sports and recreational activities like water-skiing, para-canoeing, dance and yoga.  Run, Jump, Throw and Run, Jump, Throw, Wheel focus on the development of fundamental movement skills. Opportunities for children and youth with disabilities to engage in physical activity are limited. However, they benefit greatly from programs which support their skill development in order to participate in sport and recreation.

Funds from GoodLife Kids Foundation will enable the program to continue to provide effective, affordable and exciting programs.

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The Confidence to Try #FEELGOODFRIDAY Lukas is a 10-year-old Raptors fan who plays basketball with his local chapter of Special Olympics, but it wasn’t that long ago that he was afraid to join a team. Lukas is an outgoing kid who likes to make friends and has always been very active. But his early experiences in organized physical activity were not positive. One of his biggest challenges with autism is struggling to follow directions in large groups. He was often told he was doing things wrong and even that he would embarrass the team. “These negative comments deflated his confidence, and he became afraid to try new things,” explained his mom Lisa. When he was eight, Lukas took part in the Sports of All Sorts program at the Geneva Centre for Autism. The supportive environment in the Sports of All Sorts program, funded by a GoodLife Kids grant, was a real game-changer for him. Constant encouragement and positive reinforcement gave Lukas a safe space to explore new activities without a fear of being judged. With one-on-one support he played basketball, baseball, tennis, and golf. “We’re so glad to make physical activity a regular part of Lukas’ life and we’ve found ways for him to continue practicing at home,” said Lisa. “We bought a tennis net for the backyard, and now that he’s not afraid, he loves to go to glow-in-the-dark mini-putt with his dad!” As Lukas turned around on the basketball court to wave to his mom, he gave her two big thumbs up and her eyes welled up with tears of joy. “Watching him enjoy himself, I’m overwhelmed with happiness and pride,” she shared. “He has talents! But most of all, he has regained a belief in himself – that he CAN do it – and that is so powerful.”

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