Boise Parks and Rec program helps those with disables learn to ice skate

Posted at 4:43 PM, Jan 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-11 18:43:17-05

A program through Boise Parks and Recreation is helping teach those who are disabled how to ice skate, but the lessons learned stay with them even after they stop off the ice.

The adaptive skating program has been around since 2014 and has helped well over 100 people in the Treasure Valley.

“I started off not quite as good and just wanted to learn the basics,” said Nathan Knowles, a participant in the program. 

“Every practice he seems to make some sort of little progress,” explained Nathan’s mother Pauline.

But it’s not just the basics. The program also helps with other things like confidence, courage, and there is even physical benefits.

“I’ve had occupational therapists tell me they cannot believe the level of balance improvement that comes after they enter this program,” said recreation specialist Jackie Woodland.

“There is a lot of bending of the knees, a lot of bending of the knees,” said Nathan.

But more than anything, it’s just good plain fun and something to look forward to each week.

“I’ve gotten to know people better and for me that’s an accomplishment,” said Nathan.

“He was the one that said this is what I want to do and I was like really no one else in our family does this so I said are you sure and he said yes I’m sure,” laughed Pauline.

"This is awesome, really awesome,” said Seth, a participant in the program.

At the end of the year they get to show off all of the skills they have learned at the year end performance, but it’s really all the weeks in between that stick with them long after they leave the ice. 

“It’s not so much the public performances but the stuff you do every week leading up to the public performances that slowly brings you out of your shell,” said Nathan. 

For more information about the program click here, or contact Jackie Woodland at (208) 608-7718