Imagine going to the beach with your friends and family and not being able to get in the water or sit in the sand. This is a reality many people face here in Northern Michigan. With the help of the Lighthouse Neurological Rehabilitation Center, people who are disabled are getting a new opportunity to get out on the water — with adaptive kayaking.
“I sit at home all the time and I don’t get out because I don’t think I can do things. I never thought I could get in a kayak,” says Jacquline Holm.
The Lighthouse is offering free sports clinics each Tuesday throughout the summer at the Interlochen State Park. Olivia Jacques, the program leader says, “Everyone loves to get outside in Northern Michigan, so being able to provide that for individuals with disabilities is really important.”
This event is letting people leave their wheelchairs and worries behind for an evening. Jacquline Holm says, “There’s a need for it in the community. There’s a lot of communities that don’t have any opportunities for people that are disabled.”
For Steven Rutkowski, he has always loved being in the water until years ago when he was paralyzed in a diving accident. Today, he felt freedom once again out on the water. “I felt so…. just like I was kayaking like everybody else! I guess it’s just like there’s no limits between me and someone who is able-bodied.”
This clinic is teaching people that no matter who you are, you are capable of anything with a positive attitude and community support. “You never know what you can do until you get out there and try it,” says Jacquline Holm.
If you want more information on upcoming sports clinics,