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Volunteers Needed for Miracle League of CT iCan Bike Program

Lena Proietti runs alongside Soven Curry-Letendre at the iCan Bike camp at Conard High School on July 27, 2018. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

The Miracle League of CT will hold its annual iCan Bike program at Conard High School in West Hartford, and is in need of multiple spotters to assist the participants.

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The Miracle League of CT will once again be offering the iCan Bike program for individuals with disabilities at Conard High School from July 22-26, 2019.

iCan Bike is an incredible program that uses unique equipment and techniques to teach children ages 8 and up to independently ride a two-wheel bicycle.

The program has been offered for over a decade in West Hartford. The Miracle League of CT took the program over from the town Leisure Services department five years ago. The town continues to contribute gym space for the program to be held.

The camp is completely sold out for new riders, which is why the Miracle League of CT is asking for help from the community.

iCan Bike is a very volunteer intensive program. Ideally there will be three volunteer “spotters” for each new rider. Spotters jog or run alongside the riders as they are learning.

The first three days are spent inside the gym as riders are beginning to learn on bikes that are adapted with special equipment. Mid to late week the riders transition to their own family bike that they will use after the camp and then move outdoors to the parking lot outside the gym.

A volunteer spotter must be at least 14 years old and be able to jog or run for up to 20 minutes at a time. There are five 75-minute sessions of the program throughout the day. Volunteers are asked to register for one, two or up to all five sessions if they like.

Session times begin at 8:30 a.m, 10:05 a.m., 11:40 a.m., 2 p.m. and 3:35 p.m. The Miracle League asks that volunteers are available for the same session for the entire week (Monday through Friday), because consistency is a big part of the learning process and the rider’s bond with their spotters.

Lunch will be provided for volunteers who are on site between sessions 3 and 4 and all volunteers will receive a t-shirt.

Miracle League of CT Executive Director Mike Michaud says that this is truly one of the most rewarding volunteer experiences that they offer. “A spotter gets to be part of a life changing milestone in the new riders’ lives. The volunteers get to be by the side of the riders as they first realize that they are riding all by themselves.”

Longtime iCan Bike volunteer Scott Franklin said, “I get so much more out of this experience each year than the riders do. I am an avid bicyclist so to know that I am helping someone to learn a skill that can change their life is incredible.”

The Miracle League of CT offers year-round recreational, educational and cultural opportunities for Connecticut’s children with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities in addition to the iCan Bike program. For more information about The Miracle League of CT go to www.miracleleaguect.org.

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