Elon DPT students volunteer with adaptive swimming clinic

Elon University Doctor of Physical Therapy Program students volunteered with the Orthotic & Prosthetic Activities Foundation to help make people with amputation, spinal cord injury and other physical challenges comfortable around water.

Elon University DPT students volunteered March 16 with the Orthotic & Prosthetic Activities Foundation (OPAF).

OPAF offers a variety of introductory-level adaptive sports to those with mobility challenges. The students participated in the First Swim Clinic, an adaptive swim clinic which works to make amputees and those with physical challenges more comfortable in and around the water. The students took part in a three-hour educational session in the morning followed by a two-hour afternoon swim session with community participants. Participants included those with spinal cord injuries, bilateral and triple amputations.

Seven students helped with the workshop: Raina Stevens, Zach Collins, Michelle Jamin, Ryan Molinaro, Connor Vice, Ashely Etherton and Corrie Haynes. Michelle Jamin, a third-year DPT student and student intern with OPAF, said, “I was so excited to share my involvement with the adaptive sports community with my classmates. I hope to inspire others to get involved with this population.”

Third year-student Ryan Molinaro and first-year student Ashley Etherton reintroduced swimming to a community participant with a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed below the waist. This was the first time he had tried swimming since his injury.

Second-year student Connor Vice worked with a community participant eager to get back to fishing who was nervous about getting his prosthesis wet. With the right coaching, he and Connor jumped right into the water, whichwas the first time he had ever submerged his prosthesis.

OPAF is sponsoring the first Carolinas Adaptive Standing Tennis Tournament April 26-28. Elon DPT students will be in attendance. Other volunteers are needed.