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LACD Holds Successful Winter Sports Clinic for Children with Special Needs

Mary dribbles a basketball. Credits: Eric Paragallo
Justin shoots a basketball Credits: Eric Paragallo
Mary shoots a basketball. Credits: Eric Paragallo
Chris shoots a basketball. Credits: Eric Paragallo
Mary hands out medals Credits: Eric Paragallo

LIVINGSTON, NJ - The Livingston Advisory Committee for Disabilities (LACD) held its second in a series of winter sports clinics for children with special needs on Sunday afternoon at the Livingston YMCA. A small group of children and their parents braved the cold, rainy weather outside to gather in the YMCA’s gymnasium to learn and play the game of basketball.

Bob Gebroe, LACD Chairman and event instructor, said that although he wanted to teach the kids as much as he possibly could about basketball, he felt it was most important for the kids to simply have fun. “We just try to help them feel good about themselves and have a good time with these programs,” said Gebroe.

Marine, mother of basketball clinic participant Mary, had high praise for Sunday’s event and the other programs that the LACD has put together for children with special needs. “These events have been a godsend for our family and Mary. They’re great to for us to get out of the house and do something together.”

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The clinic began with the children lining up in two separate rows. The kids then took turns performing various drills including dribbling the basketball around cones, and passing the basketball to each other.

Gebroe then asked the children to test their accuracy in a timed drill. In a five-minute span, all of the kids set themselves up in front of a hoop and tried to shoot as many baskets as they could before the timer rang. High scorers included James with 21 baskets and Mary with 15 baskets.

Following the practice drills, the attendees, both parents and children, were broken up into two separate teams for a short basketball game. The children took turns moving the ball from one offensive zone to the other, allowing each child to attempt a shot on the other team’s hoop. Each basket made was met with rowdy cheers and applause from teammates and opponents alike.

There are two winter sport clinics for children with special needs remaining. A kickball clinic will be held on Feb. 9 and a baseball clinic will be held on March 2. For more information call (973) 970-4441.

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