On Sunday April 2, 2017, Northeast Opportunities for Wellness partnered with The Arc Quinebaug Valley to host the first ever Spectrum of Sports clinic at Killingly High School.

The event, designed for children of all abilities, aimed to promote inclusivity in youth wellness. The clinic consisted of a variety of sports skills stations as well as a vendor resource fair with representatives from local organizations that offer health and wellness services.

Approximately 30 children ages 7-16 participated in the afternoon of events. The children sprinted relays, passed with local soccer players, shot hoops, lifted spirits (and friends) with KHS’ cheer team, and stretched it all out while centering their minds at NOW’s yoga station. A fun nutrition obstacle course prompted discussions about healthy food choices, and the children refueled with a healthy snack. Each participant also received their own soccer ball, donated by both Pomfret School and the Killingly Brooklyn Rotary Club, to continue practicing what they learned at home.

Volunteers for the clinic included: Tourtellotte Memorial High School’s track and field coach Beth Ten Eyck, soccer coach and community member David Lavoie and sons, Putnam Science Academy Coach Tom Espinosa and players, including UCONN men’s basketball player Mamadou Diarra, Killingly High School Cheerleading coach Audrey Jones and cheerleaders, members of Westview Health Care Center’s Sports Medicine team, and employees of The Arc Quinebaug Valley.

During the clinic, parents and guardians were encouraged to visit the vendor resource fair. Representatives from local community organizations provided information on speech and language services, sports organizations for kids, child advocacy information and assistance, and a range of health and wellness resources. Vendors included: The Arc Quinebaug Valley, Northeast Opportunities for Wellness, Community Health Resources, Special Olympics Quinebaug Valley, Quiet Corner Speech & Language LLC., Putnam Science Academy, UConn KIDS, PATH P2P/ Family Voices/KASA, Generations Family Health Center, Quest Martial Arts, Hale YMCA Youth & Family Center, Boy Scout Troop 21 Putnam, and Connecticut Legal Services, Inc.

The partnership between NOW and The Arc was a natural fit, promoting a cohesive approach to serving the wellness needs of youth in the 10-town area of Northeast Connecticut. NOW’s mission to provide all children with youth wellness programming aligns with The Arc’s goals to actively support the full inclusion and participation of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the community. The two organizations look to plan similar events to the Spectrum of Sports clinic in the future.