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Sporty and social after-hours groups promote confidence and new skill development at JMCC
Date Posted: Thursday, December 8, 2016

While the John McGivney Children’s Centre (JMCC) is typically open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., staff, students and volunteers run a variety of after-hours groups for kids and teens that offer a great combination of social interaction, therapy and fun.
This fall, a therapy and sports group for children diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and similar conditions run by the physiotherapy team allowed participants to challenge themselves and work hard with their peers in a more social environment.
The group ran for six weeks, on Thursday evenings from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. This was the first group of its kind and each of the five participants received one-on-one support from a physiotherapist, physiotherapy assistant or a Human Kinetics student from the University of Windsor. This group’s format saw kids working hard for 40 minutes participating in strengthening stations and then playing various adaptive team sports for the last 20 minutes.
“This group was so much fun to run. The kids were motivated to work hard and eager to participate every week! We’re excited to run this group again,” says Colleen Barbalinardo, Physiotherapist, JMCC.
Other groups at John McGivney include Little Ninjas (a martial arts group that is run weekly by local volunteers), yoga groups, and gross motor groups for children who have difficulty with sports skills and balance.
“Throughout our various groups, we notice participants becoming more social and outgoing,” says Barbalinardo. “Groups like this are important because kids make new friends and gain confidence, while challenging themselves with new activities.”

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