The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

The Cere­bral Palsy As­so­ci­a­tion of St. Lu­cia wishes to ex­press its most sin­cere grat­i­tude to the cor­po­rate, non-profit and vol­un­tary or­gan­i­sa­tions that have sup­ported its ef­forts since its in­cep­tion in 2012.

On this oc­ca­sion, the as­so­ci­a­tion wishes to recog­nise the in­valu­able con­tri­bu­tion of the Ro­tary Club of Gros Islet. The club mem­bers, who recog­nised the need for con­tin­u­ous sup­port and stim­u­la­tion for chil­dren with chal­lenges, have come on board to en­sure the con­ti­nu­ity of the horse­back rid­ing pro­gramme in 2015.

Horse­back rid­ing can help chil­dren with cere­bral palsy on sev­eral fronts. In­ter­act­ing with the an­i­mal can lift a child’s spir­its emo­tion­ally and psy­cho­log­i­cally while also pro­vid­ing valu­able phys­i­cal ex­er­cise. The horse’s gait has three-di­men­sional move­ment - equine move­ment – sim­i­lar to a hu­man that helps a child plan phys­i­cal re­sponses to the horse’s move­ment. Horse­back rid­ing re­quires sub­tle ad­just­ments and po­si­tion­ing to main­tain proper bal­ance and pos­ture.

Phys­i­cal benefits in­clude im­proved gross mo­tor skills, trunk core strength, con­trol of ex­trem­i­ties, im­proved pos­tural sym­me­try, re­duced ab­nor­mal mus­cle tone and re­s­pi­ra­tory con­trol.

Cog­ni­tive benefits in­clude im­proved at­ten­tion, vis­ual co­or­di­na­tion, sen­sory in­put, tac­tile re­sponse, im­proved tim­ing and grad­ing of re­sponses, im­proved abil­ity to ex­press thoughts and needs.

Psy­cho­log­i­cal benefits in­clude en­joy­able in­ter­ac­tions with the an­i­mal, op­por­tu­ni­ties for so­cial in­ter­ac­tion and im­proved self-es­teem.

The Cere­bral Palsy As­so­ci­a­tion of St. Lu­cia is most ap­pre­cia­tive of the sup­port of the Ro­taract Club of Gros Islet as it aims to “Rise Above Phys­i­cal Chal­lenges”.

The As­so­ci­a­tion also wishes to thank the fol­low­ing part­ners who sup­ported its Bingo Night: St. James Club Mor­gan Bay, Capella Marigot Bay Re­sort, San­dals Grande St. Lu­cian Spa and Beach Re­sort, Car­ni­val Sail­ing, Meme Bete, Sea Is­land Cot­ton Shop, Ti Spa, Kaycees, The Pho­to­shop and Spice of In­dia. The pro­ceeds from the Bingo Night will go to­wards an up­com­ing Respite Day and pur­chase of a wa­ter heater to recom­mence an aquather­apy pro­gramme.

Please con­tact 286-4729 for fur­ther in­for­ma­tion about the As­so­ci­a­tion.

A horse­back rid­ing pro­grame for young Saint Lu­cians af­fected by Cere­bral Palsy is said to be a ma­jor suc­cess.

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