SOURCE: Penn's Landing Corporation

November 16, 2007 14:48 ET

Children With Disabilities Enjoy Adapted Ice Skating at the Blue Cross RiverRink

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwire - November 16, 2007) - Variety - The Children's Charity of Greater Philadelphia has been providing programs and services for children with disabilities in the region since 1935. Variety's goal is to empower its children to live life as a participant, not as a spectator.

One way it makes this possible is through its partnership with the Blue Cross River Rink, which provides private skating sessions for children with disabilities. Children with physical disabilities are given the opportunity to skate using modified sleds.

Developed in Scandinavia, skaters with lower limb disabilities sit on a specially designed sled equipped with regulation skate blades. Sled skaters use two "grip sticks" with metal-spiked tips to propel themselves along the ice, or skaters can be assisted by someone who pushes the skater on the ice with the aid of a handlebar attached to the back of the sled. They control the sled skate by propelling themselves along the ice.

Children with developmental disabilities are given a private session where the ice is open only to them. This allows them to skate in private sessions with parents and/or instructors. These children can enjoy skating without distractions or crowds in a safe environment.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for the Variety children," said Joseph Brooks, acting president of Penn's Landing Corporation. "Through this program we were able to expand the Variety services and sports initiatives, and provide their children with a unique activity that they otherwise would not be able to experience."

WHO?    Variety, its children with disabilities, and the Blue Cross

WHAT?   Offering private skating sessions for children with physical and
        developmental disabilities

WHERE?  Blue Cross RiverRink and Penn's Landing (Columbus Boulevard. at
        Market Street)

WHEN?   Designated Sunday Mornings (9:30-10:30 a.m.) by reservation.

WHY?    To provide a fun and safe recreational activity to children with
        disabilities. The Blue Cross RiverRink is one of the few facilities
        in this area that provides this unique opportunity.

*Variety - The Children's Charity recently changed its name from Variety Club.