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DSAV hosts iCan Bike event at BGJHS

June 21, 2018
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

The week of June 10-15, Boardman Glenwood Junior High School was used for a bicycle training camp. A group of 50 volunteers assisted 26 bike riders ranging in age from eight years old to age 52.

"The Down Syndrome Association of the Valley (DSAV) hosts the sessions," said Debbie Williams of the DSAV. "We work with iCan Bike for the week-long camp that helps disabled children, teens and adults learn a new skill and so much more."

She said the bicycle camp is something iCan Bike puts on across the United States and Canada. The goal of the program is to teach those with disabilities how to ride a bike. Learning to master a bike can help give the person a new-found confidence to meet other life challenges.

Article Photos

Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier

Clayton Whalen from Walkerton, Indiana, helps convert a personal bike for a child with disabilities with the guide post needed to have an assistant support the bike while the child is gaining confidence. Whalen is with iCan Bike, a program in the U.S. and Canada that allows children with a disability the chance to ride a bike.

"The total cost to put on one of these camps is $15,000," Williams said. "We are fortunate that Boardman Schools opens up for us with the facility. We also got a grant from the Youngstown Foundation's Hine Fund."

iCan Bike sends staff to assist in the training as well as a bike mechanic who maintains the program equipment. The mechanic is also available to outfit a riders personal bike with any specialty devices needed to make the bike safe.

This is the fifth year for the camp and many riders are repeat customers who return to work on their skills.

Mary Mort from Lisbon attended last week and it was her third camp.

"She couldn't ride that well at her first camp," said her mother Opal Mort. "In the beginning she wouldn't even stay on the bike, now you can't get her off."

Another repeat rider this year was Noah O'Hara from Girard. He attended with his mother Katie O'Hara.

She said, "Noah has attended three camps now and he has really got good at riding."

To learn more about the organizations that take part in the camps, visit or The iCan Shine motto is "Teach them to ride and see where they go..."



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