Marcy on the Move Hosts Para-Athlete Jason Robinson
Students participating in the Marcy on the Move fitness program at Marcy Elementary School had the opportunity to learn from and race with a special guest on Wednesday, May 15.
Jason Robinson of Westmoreland is a local para-athlete who was born with a rare congenital spinal disorder and has a love of sports and running. He competes in races such as the Boilermaker 15K in Utica and he is a member of the Track and Field Team at Westmoreland High School.
In 2012, Robinson’s fourth grade classmates raised money to buy him his very own racing wheelchair so that he could compete in his first Boilermaker 15K. In 2013, the Robinson family founded the J-Rob Foundation as a way for them to pay it forward and raise funds to provide adaptive sporting equipment to other children in need.
To kick off the afternoon, Jason Robinson spoke to the students about his experience with wheelchair racing and how he got involved in it. He said his ultimate goals are to go to college and compete at the college level, and to eventually go on to compete in the Paralympic Games.
Robinson also talked to the students about how the definition of an athlete varies, and every person is unique, but everyone has the capabilities to reach the goals that they set for themselves. Students then had the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about Robinson’s racing chair and how it works.
In addition to Robinson and his mother, Erin, Mark Donovan and Kelli Watson from the Boilermaker Road Race also joined the students for the program.
During this session of Marcy on the Move, students are participating in an Olympics-style competition while representing six different countries: Canada, England, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Sweden. During Robinson’s visit, each of the teams had the chance to test out and race with wheelchairs that are made for competing in wheelchair basketball. The reason they weren’t able to use regular racing wheelchairs, Robinson explained, is that racing wheelchairs are customized for the individuals who own them.
While half of the students were trying out the different wheelchairs, the rest of the students warmed up with different stretches and exercises, and then they switched so that all students had the chance to participate in using the wheelchairs with Robinson. The session ended with a relay race around the parking lot with Robinson racing against the students.
Thank you to Jason Robinson for taking the time to speak to the students and participate in Marcy on the Move!
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