3 Smarts Outdoor Games for Camp Counselors and Coaches

August 9th, 2011

Octaband™ – 16 Arm

Grab hold of a group and grab on! Versatile activity takes the pressure off by letting each participant work at his/her own ability level. Colorful resistance-band “arms” encourage individualized movement as participants tug and pull. Bright center circle provides strong visual focus. 5 1/2″ hem at the end of each arm allows individuals with limited grasping ability to participate. Provides engaging opportunities for upper-extremity exercise, socialization, interaction, and cooperative group effort. Suitable for all ages, abilities, and fitness levels

Deluxe Three-Ply Kickball Set

Everything you need to get little ones in on a game of kickball! Set includes: two 8½”-dia. Three-Ply Playground Balls, one Rubber Throw-Down Base Set (three bases, one home plate and one pitching rubber), two Weighted Orange Cones to mark the foul line (12″), and one Mesh Equipment Bag for storage

Wheelchair Whirl

Encourages self-esteem through creative expression! Create spinning, twirling, flying masterpieces right from your wheelchair! Touch-fasten the Whirl¹s PVC wings to the wheelchair¹s armrests and attach the included color wheels to the wings polycarbonate rods. Then simply roll and watch the wheels turn for mobile artwork!

Wishing you lots of outdoor fun!

Your Friends at Mansion Athletics

Outdoors Fun for Everyone: Find the Adapted Bike Perfect for Special Needs

June 2nd, 2011

“The benefits we gain from cycling are evident: exercise, independence, confidence and of course fun,” explains Special Needs Senior Brand Manager Michelle M. “People of all ages who may be experiencing a disability, either cognitive or physical, can use a bike that’s the right fit for them to participate in this wonderful activity. “Age or physical stamina need not keep you from enjoying this pleasurable outdoor pastime,” she continues. “Take in the scenery, breathe the fresh air or feel the wind in your face. Regardless of ability, there is a bike out there that everyone can ride.

 She’s not kidding! With almost 40 bikes for adults with special needs and 60 bikes for kids with special needs, there really is a bicycle for every eager and willing rider.

In order to select the correct bike, ask yourself the following questions:
  1. Does the rider have neck and trunk control?
  2. Can the rider step up and over a bar?
  3. Can the rider pedal by him or herself?
  4. Is the rider strong enough to propel a bike forward?

Once you know the answers to these simple questions, you can choose the right bike by measuring the rider’s inseam, height and weight. 

For riders with difficulty supporting their neck and trunk, we offer the Duet Cycle: it’s a wheelchair crossed with a bicycle. A caregiver can propel the Duet from behind on the bike while a wheelchair-bound rider can experience the joys of cycling up front, first hand.

The affordable Just 4 Me Trike comes in three sizes and features a removable and adjustable backrest with pad, chest strap, seat belt for safety and adjustable push handle. It’s also very easy to mount with its low to the ground center bar.

The Adventurer 2000 features a pass through design and step-on platform for easy loading. It includes rear steering for caregiver control, a high padded backrest, a locking hand brake as well as an adjustable seat and a safety belt for maximum stability.

The Micah Special Needs Tricycle is another option for riders with unstable trunk support and low stamina. Ideal for mobility skill building and exercise, this tricycle also features rear steering so that a caregiver can walk behind and keep the rider moving and on track. The Micah supports riders weighing up to 225 lbs.

For an assisted yet social bike riding experience, try Side-by-Side Trike, available in two speeds and also an electrically assisted model. Unlike the Micah or the Duet, Side-by-Side positions rider and caregiver next to each other. The rider need not pedal but does have the option to participate. And riding partners not only get to take in the scenery together, but they can converse about it too.

The Low Rider Recumbent Tricycle comes in two speeds and also an electrically assisted version. The benefits of this tricycle are easy transfer – it can be mounted from a seated position in a wheelchair due to its signature 18 3/4-inch seat height, comfortable trunk support and elevated pedal positioning. The electrical assist Low Rider makes cycling a breeze for riders who lack the stamina to pedal for long distances or need assistance on inclines. With its standard wide seat and backrest, the Low Rider accommodates riders up to 550 lbs.

Affordable and innovative TriTon Trikes – including the Mobo, the TriTon and the TriTon Pro – feature a distinct, non-standard steering mechanism, recumbent design for comfortable back support, adjustable frames and caliper hand brakes. The direct drive system of the TriTon and TriTon Pro eliminates greasy chains. These models feature a generously padded seat and safety flag. The TriTon Mobo features a reclining seat back with several angle settings and a foldable frame for easy transport.

Finally, consider riding the WTX Trike. Though it may appear to be just for the young, it’s really for the young at heart. Super-wide tracking wheels offer added stability and exceptional traction for this tricycle that accommodates riders up to 300 lbs. “You can’t avoid smiling when you ride the WTX,” Michelle explains. Accessories are available to suit our selection of bikes, and even enhance off-the-shelf bikes you’ve already purchased, including: weighted pedals, flashing LED pedals, an extra-wide comfort seat, reflector pack and helmet. A disability need not keep you or someone you know from enjoying the thrill of cycling in the great outdoors.
              “Have fun this summer, and don’t forget your helmet!

Wishing you the best summer ever!
Your Friends at Mansion Athletics

Spring forward! Money for your team, institution and community

June 2nd, 2011

Learn and Serve America Youth Engagement Zones
This program provides support to service-learning projects designed to improve academic engagement and achievement and student attendance and behavior: the focus is on civic engagement and connecting youth with citizens from diverse communities, backgrounds, and perspectives. Priority will be given to service-learning projects that involve students and community stakeholders in the design and implementation, target low-income or rural communities within the proposed geographic “zone,” and utilize adult volunteers in the planning and implementation. Grant awards range from approximately $700,000 to $1,500,000 to support 3 years of operations.
Deadline: March 21, 2011

Click here to learn how to apply

World of Children Awards
The World of Children Awards program was created to recognize and elevate those selfless individuals who make a difference in the lives of children here in the USA and across the globe, regardless of political, religious or geographical boundaries.

The 2011 Humanitarian Award ($50,000) recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to children in the areas of social services, education or humanitarian services. The 2011 Health Award ($50,000) recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to children in the fields of health, medicine or the sciences. The 2011 Youth Award ($25,000) recognizes youth (under 21) who are making extraordinary contributions to the lives of other children. In all cases, nominees must be associated with existing non-profit organizations in good standing which can receive grant funds if awarded.

Deadline: April 2, 2011

Click here to learn how to apply

Play More, Win More!
Your Friends at Mansion Athletics

New Indoor Fun Ideas for Cold Winter Days

June 2nd, 2011

How to trump the blizzard? Here are some fun indoor activities for all ages and abilities.

Kids with Special Needs:

Adapted Steeple Course Set
Features 60″ L X-Long Bars and Small Flat Hoops to provide more flexibility in configuring a course that can also be used by all children.

Kids 5+:

Activity Cubes
Roll the cubes and perform the action! These 18-oz coated vinyl cubes are printed with non-toxic inks. Filled with firm foam. Each measures 8″ x 8″. SPECIFY: Motion, Movement or Gymnastic Bears.

Active Kids of all Ages:

Activity Walking Trail
Create dozens of walking trails with one set! Set includes 12-35″ L blue walking boards and 4-13″-dia. red circular bases that connect to create a multitude of exciting balance challenges.

Adults with Special Needs:

Exciting Alternative To Horseshoes! Baggo is a completely self-contained horseshoes alternative. Everything you need is included in one easy-to-store, convenient pack. Features two oblong target boards with stands and a set of tossing beanbags.

 Play More, Win More!
Your Friends at Mansion Athletics

Uncovered! New Grant Opportunity for Your Football Facility

December 4th, 2010

NFL Youth Football Fund Grassroots Program
New grant opportunities to improve the quality, safety and accessibility of football fields. The NFL Youth Football Fund Grassroots Program will help nonprofit, neighborhood-based organizations improve the quality, safety, and accessibility of local football fields. General Field Support grants will provide up to $50,000 each for capital projects not associated with the actual field surface. This includes the installation/refurbishment of bleachers, concession stands, lights, irrigation systems, and more. Field Surface Grants provide matching awards of up to $200,000 each to help finance the resurfacing of a community, middle school, or high school football field and the installation of synthetic sports turf. A smaller number of matching grants of up to $100,000 each will be available to help finance the resurfacing of a community, middle school, or high school football field utilizing natural grass/sod surfaces.
Deadline: December 15, 2010.
Click here to learn how to apply

Champions for Healthy Kids
The General Mills Foundation annually awards 50 grants of $10,000 each to community-based groups that develop creative ways to help youth adopt a balanced diet and physically active lifestyle. Organizations that work with youth, aged 2 through 18, are encouraged to apply. These may include park districts, health departments, government agencies, Native American tribes, municipal organizations, churches, schools, Boys & Girls clubs, etc. Proposals must have at least one nutrition objective and at least one physical activity objective and include the involvement of a registered dietitian or dietetic technician. Applications for the 2011 Champions for Healthy Kids grant program are now being accepted.
Deadline: December 15, 2010
Click here to learn how to apply

Play More, Win More!
Your Friends at
Mansion Athletics

Money For Your PE Teaching Program

September 27th, 2010

Our partners have uncovered new funding sources for teachers who provide innovative learning opportunities for their kids and more.

Kids in Need Teacher Grants
The Kids In Need Foundation offers Kids In Need Teacher Grants to provide K-12 educators in United States with funding to implement innovative learning opportunities for their students. All certified K-12 teachers in the U.S. are eligible. Applications – which can be completed online – are judged on the basis of innovativeness and merit, clarity of objectives, replication feasibility, suitability of evaluation methods, and cost effectiveness. Grant awards range from $100 to $500 and must be used to finance creative classroom projects. Typically, between 200 and 300 grants are awarded each year.
Deadline: September 30, 2010.
Click here to learn how to apply

New York Life Foundation
Proposals must fall within the Foundation’s “Nurturing the Children focus,” which includes educational enhancement, mentoring children, creating safe places to learn and grow and childhood bereavement. Preference is given to requests that provide an opportunity for volunteer involvement on the part of New York Life agents, employees and retirees. Grants are made only to private, nonprofit organizations, which have tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and which are not private foundations.
Click here to learn how to apply

We wish your PE program all success.

Play More, Win More!
Your Friends at Mansion Athletics

Wondering How to Energize Large Group of Students? We Have an Answer

August 25th, 2010

Track Your Team Building Success
 School coaches and PE instructors can now create a super engaging team building activity perfect for very large groups! The new Challenge Tarp activity can include as many six teams of six to ten students each. In addition to team-building the activity teaches cooperation, eye-hand coordination and enhances upper body strength.

Skill Trac using the Challenge Tarp, consists of six nylon pathways that connect with a variety of shapes. Instead of focusing on a round parachute at the center of their group, players must focus on guiding a ball down narrow pathways. That takes a little extra teamwork capability! As does any parachuting activity, Skill Trac benefits team players by challenging them to cooperate with each other, boost their eye-hand coordination skills, and build their upper body strength. But the special benefit of playing with Skill Trac is that it stretches the mind and takes parachuting challenges to the next level.

Skill Trac meets the National Content Standards for Physical Education per the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. The included complimentary activity guide is broken into lead-up activities, basic large-group activities, and ways to make activities more dynamic.

Easy to set up and introduce to students, Skill Trac is any P.E. teacher’s dream come true.

Play More, Win More!
Your Friends at Mansion Athletics

Accommodate Special Needs, Make Your Home and School Play-yard Fun for Everyone

June 22nd, 2010

It is easy to make your home backyard or school play-yard fun for kids of all ages and abilities. Fun is one of the key ingredients to any playground activity for kids. Spend five minutes at your local park on a sunny day and you’ll inevitably overhear the happy sounds of kids at play. But play systems – including slides, tunnels, activity panels and more – encourage a lot more than just fun: there’s learning at work in playground play, as well as the chance to include children of all abilities in this social pastime.

Indoor learning can be taken outdoors and your yard should promote rich opportunities for children with physical, cognitive, social-emotional, communicative and sensory disabilities to play alongside their peers so that the playground is fun for everyone. Here are 6 simple tips:

1) Instead of wood mulch or sand, consider surfacing the play-yard with surfacing made from recycled rubber. It is safe for kids and wheelchair accessible.
2) Make sure music and sound stations allow everyone to contribute sounds.
3) A simple slide, going up the climber and down the slide, allows repetitive experiences boosting confidence. 4) Ramps allow people with diverse abilities to access the play structure and to enjoy independently.

5) Do not forget Benches. They allow adult supervision as well as a place for children to rest and join play when they feel emotionally secure.
6) The accessible swing provides additional support so children can enjoy even when they are experiencing low energy levels.

Whether you are a mom, dad. PE teacher or coach, watch how your play-yard designs help your kids feel empowered to be: fair, included, smart, independent, safe, active and comfortable.

Play More, Win More!
Your Friends at Mansion Athletics

New! Team Game for Building Strength and Cooperation

May 11th, 2010

Catch Running Man Before He Gets Away
   Here is a team activity that school & college coaches, PE instructors and community event organizers will appreciate. The Running Man works for almost any age, from ages 5+ to adults and seniors, and does not require a high physical skill ability level to participate. Benefits: Wrist and forearm strength, teamwork, cooperation, communication skills, sports preparedness and cognition.

The running man consists of 2 dowels that are connected by rope. The object is to move the running man between the handles. Participants can run one directional sprint races or even relay races. One of the best aspects of the Running Man activity is its versatility: it can be played one-on-one, two-on-two, in teams with up to 24 players, as well as inside and outside.

Build Hand Strength & Cooperation Skills
In order to be successful, the players work together when performing team runs. Communication is the key to success. That’s why Running Man is a great way to boost team spirit and cooperative skills amongst your team.

While the muscular benefits of Running Man are easy to see – wrist and forearm toning, the long-term benefits of this game are plentiful. It’s a great training tool for sports such as baseball, gymnastics, rowing and tennis. And strengthening muscles in your arms is beneficial to typing, handwriting and other skills that require dexterity and control.

Transition the fun of Running Man to the discipline of working with free weights, racquets, rowing, baseball bats and more. Build your team for the next championship win!

Play More, Win More!
Your Friends at Mansion Athletics

Exciting NCAA March Madness Is Here!

May 11th, 2010

Whatever sport we coach or enjoy today, who doesn’t enjoy a spirited game of hoops every now and then. Most families have a basketball board, and whether you are a coach, dad, mom or player a quick round of hoops can be invigorating.

  Did you know? James Naismith, a Physical Education instructor, invented basketball at a Massachusetts Y.M.C.A. gymnasium. On March 11, 1892 – just 118 years ago today – the first public basketball game was played in Springfield, Mass. Whether you love to dribble or shoot, basketball is a great way to build team spirit, cooperation and physical fitness, even when done from the seated position of a wheelchair.

In Springfield, Naismith was faced with the problem of finding a sport that was suitable for play inside during the Massachusetts winter for the students at the School for Christian Workers. Naismith wanted to create a game of skill for the students instead of one that relied solely on strength. He needed a game that could be played indoors in a relatively small space. The first game was played with a soccer ball and two peach baskets used as goals. Naismith joined the University of Kansas faculty in 1898.

In addition to the creation of the basketball, James Naismith graduated as a medical doctor, primarily interested in sports science. Naismith watched his sport, basketball, introduced in many nations by the YMCA movement. Today basketball has grown to become one of the world’s most popular sports.

For more than a century, basketball has been an exciting, challenging and adaptable activity for men and women of all ages and abilities.

Play More, Win More!
Your Friends at Mansion Athletics