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Due to the covid-19 pandemic, all Challenger programming has been suspended until further notice. Please check back to this site periodically for future programming updates.

Children of all abilities are welcome to participate in Challenger Gym!

Challenger Gym is an after-school program for school-age students of all grade levels with extra needs who might need a fun, non-competitive alternative to traditional community sports. Kids of all ages with varying levels of ability can participate. During the Spring 2019 session, we had 11 active participants.

A volunteer high school buddy is paired with each child. I believe the high school buddies like Challenger Gym just as much as the kids with whom they work. Although I am a physical therapist, the activities are definitely geared toward the fun side rather than therapeutic. Examples of activities have included obstacle courses, bowling, balloon fun, relay races and lots of throwing games. Each child is unique so we try to adapt games as needed.

This program is a not-for-profit venture, and is not endorsed or financially supported by the Great Valley School District.

A Look Back at Challenger Gym

More about Challenger Gym:
  • A typically very quiet girl talking non-stop to her high school buddy about everything from ‘Dancing With the Stars’ to the Phillies spring training.
  • A child overwhelmed by even the sound of loud talking, is laughing and taking charge during parachute play by shouting ‘Up! Down! Shake, shake, shake! And everyone doing just as he instructs.
  • Discovering how a girl with a physical disability who needs assistance walking is also a truly gifted athlete. What an arm!
  • Three-point shooter?!! He stunned all of the high school assistants.
  • High school assistants running after very active children!
  • Freshmen basketball players talking about how the smiling, silent boy in school is so athletic catching and throwing balls easily.
  • Sheer happiness that a high school assistant could come so quickly to understand the subtlety of communication in a child with a severe physical disability who is not able to speak.

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