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The Times
  • Individuals who are blind participate in National Fitness Challenge

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  • UTICA — Fifteen people, most of whom are blind or visually impaired, are participating in the United States Association of Blind Athletes National Fitness Challenge in conjunction with Amerigroup Foundation.
    According to Laura Yakey, Rehabilitation case manager and adaptive sports and recreation coordinator at the Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the program’s goal is to raise the physical activity of each participant to the levels recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
    “This year’s program integrates the use of technology and social media to help our participants set goals, create team environments and encourage leadership,” Yakey said in a news release.
    USABA provided each participant with a Nike+ FuelBand Silver Edition which measures many kinds of activities like calories burned and number of steps taken.
    Lisa Simons, a customer service representative in CABVI’s call center, said she likes the precision of the Nike equipment. “It provides real-time feedback which really helps me set goals and track my fitness progress. I like that you wear it like a bracelet so it’s not intrusive when you’re working out and also that we’re competing against athletes from around the country,” she said in the release.
    The FuelBands were purchased through a grant from the WellPoint Foundation. The foundation made a grant of $220,000 to the USABA, which in turn made contributions to 39 agencies that are participating in the USABA/WellPoint Foundation National Fitness Challenge.
    All CABVI participants are currently, or will be, participating in at least one CABVI Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program according to Kathy Beaver, CABVI vice president of rehabilitation.
    “These programs include adaptive curling, Curves Fitness, Bone Builders, the regional Lions Journey for Sight, adaptive bowling, the Boilermaker road race and more,” she said in the release.
    CABVI’s slots for the USABA/WellPoint Foundation National Fitness Challenge are currently full, but anyone interested in joining programs in Adaptive Sports and Recreation Department are welcome to contact Yakey at lauray@cabvi.org or Alex Crawford at alexc@cabvi.org, or by calling them at 797-2233.
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