Skaters with mobility restrictions get RiverRink all to themselves

Andrew Kramer
February 17, 2019 - 1:11 pm
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Sunday mornings at Penn's Landing's Blue Cross RiverRink have a different vibe than other days, because people with mobility restrictions who normally don't have the chance to skate get the ice all to themselves. 

These weekly, free adaptive ice skating events at the rink bring Wayne Peterson and his family together in a relaxed setting.

"It gives Dougie" — Peterson's 30-year-old son with Down syndrome — "the freedom of being part of the public, if you will, because he can't get up to skate, but that's what brings us out here."

Dougie was smiling from ear to ear as he moved around the ice on his sled skate, using two hockey sticks with blades on either end to help him glide around.

"He has a ball," his father continued. "He talks about coming here in the summertime — he just loves it. And his family is able to come with him, and it just gives him a good feeling of being able to do what everyone else is doing."

Jarreau Freeman, social media and web manager for the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, noted it's an incredible experience for Dougie and others with disabilities.

"It's just great to be able to open up this opportunity for people who just love the ice and want to get out there and just provide a fun, inclusive environment for them to do so," she said.

RiverRink staff are onsite as well to teach the skaters basic skills.