Last week BORP’s youth sled hockey team, the Sharks Sled Hockey, were in Chicago for the 2018 Disabled Hockey Festival. Last year the Sharks debuted at the tournament by winning first place in their division and coming home with a national championship, so excitement was high as the team headed to the Windy City.
The Sharks Sled Hockey team had a great opening game against the Colorado Avalanche Youth Sled Hockey team. The BORP youth won 10-0, with BORP’s Garnett Silver-Hall scoring four goals. In their second game the Sharks faced Cincinnati and Zach Nazareno, one of BORP’s youngest players, scored four goals leading the team to another win, 8-0. The team went on to finish pool play undefeated after a 3-1 win against the Chicago Thunder and advanced to the semi-finals.
In semi-finals the Sharks Sled Hockey team defeated Chicago Wings of Steel, 5-2 and prepared to face Pittsburg Penguins. The Sharks played hard in the final game for the Youth C Division Championship and ended up losing 2-1 and finishing second place in the tournament.
The Disabled Hockey Festival was an incredible experience for the BORP youth and we would like to thank Kristi Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Foundation, the Oakland Ice Center Operated by Sharks Ice, the Sharks Foundation, and the many BORP supporters who made this possible.
Over the last three years, BORP Cycling and the Centre for Neuro Skills in Emeryville (CNS) have developed a great partnership serving both our missions. CNS is a residential rehabilitation program for people with traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and strokes. Every Tuesday, a group of CNS clients and their therapists visit the BORP Cycling Center for a group ride. Most riders come for several months while they are enrolled in CNS programs and some continue to come independently afterward.
CNS Therapist Albert Santa Cruz has this to say about our programs:
“BORP provides additional recreation therapy for our patients and provides a physical activity in community-based areas. There are plenty of articles and studies showing the benefits of outdoor activities including motivation to exercise, enhancing a positive attitude and emotion, and reducing mental fatigue. BORP allows a break for patients who undergo intense therapy in a clinical setting for hours a day while still getting a different type of rehabilitation. Bicycling outdoors allows patients to feel a sense of community involvement through social reintegration and inducing a mindset of belonging and being able to see their progress in a practical setting. Another aspect of bicycling outdoors is the exposure to sensory experiences by seeing the bright grassy areas, the sunny skies, and vast bay area water. Participation has given our patients a sense of a “reset” that allows them to continue their formal therapies refreshed.
The staff and volunteers have been phenomenal and accommodate for our sometimes large groups. They assist with all fitting for all of our patients and make sure our patients are safe with appropriate equipment. They adapt their equipment for our varying impairments and body types. We appreciate the open dialogue that is available at BORP and hope to keep the BORP and CNS relationship for a very long time.”
We interviewed CNS “graduate” Ray Ydoyaga about his personal experiences at BORP. Ray started out riding recumbent cycles with the CNS group, has become a regular independent rider, and just this month successfully got back on a two-wheel cycle.
BORP: What do you enjoy about BORP?
Ray Ydoyaga: It’s great to be able to have a regular and fun outdoor athletic workout after a major physical injury. This wouldn’t be possible for me without BORP’s special adaptive bikes. BORP is also ideally located at the juncture of multiple bike trails ranging from the very easy loop around Aquatic Park Lake, to hidden paths around Berkeley marina, and to challenging and serious rides up to either the Bay Bridge bike path or, going the other direction, Richmond, and all offering stupendous views. Pre-accident, I was a daily cyclist, so now post-accident, being able to do something physical again that i love has given me a lot of hope and improved my mental well-being.
BORP: Have you noticed a specific impact on your physical rehabilitation?
Ray: The repetitive cycling motions have definitely increased my strength, endurance, balance and overall mobility. My right side is still substantially weaker than left, but the regular cycling has given the right side a big boost.
BORP: What brought you to BORP?
Ray: In July 2016, I had a high-speed bicycle wipeout that caused a concussion and a spinal cord injury at neck level (C3). That level of injury almost always means being (required to use a wheelchair), but through luck, years-long rehab work and the care AND INGENUITY of a great physical therapist, SEAN REYNOLDS OF CNS, I am able to walk — with a pronounced limp and sometimes looks a bit like a drunken sailor, but still, it’s a self-propelled walk nonetheless. I have improved to the point where I will be taking my first solo ride on a regular two-wheeled bike very soon, and perhaps graduating from BORP’s fast three-wheeled trikes.
Long-time BORP fitness studio instructor, Jess Schlesinger will be offering her class two nights per week. Starting May 1st, Access Centered Yoga for Trauma and Pain will be offered Tuesday nights at 7:30-8:30 pm in addition to Thursdays. This is a donation based class, so students can attend for free and donate what they can, when they can.
You might be thinking enough already with the rain but the wildflowers are saying bring it on. It’s that time of year when people flock outdoors in search of the best places to see wildflowers. With our late rains, this year could prove to be dazzling. While I have not yet been in search of them this year I have in past years found that both Sunol Regional Wilderness in Sunol and Mori Point in Pacifica have been good choices for wildflower viewing. The Camp Ohlone Road trail at Sunol is hilly and for a manual chair user would require good upper body strength. The surface is aggregate with firm underlayment. Mori Point is flat and easy. Both places have accessible restrooms and parking.
If you’d prefer seeing the wildflowers from a moving vehicle you might want to head over to Niles and board the Niles Canyon Railway Wildflower train. This diesel powered locomotive travels through Nile Canyon and leaves from either Sunol or Niles, every Sunday, several times a day. Fare is $14 for adults, $8 for youth ages 3-12. A wheelchair lift is available for boarding and accessible restrooms are at both boarding points.
BORP hosted the 2018 NWBA Junior Division West Coast Conference Championship Tournament at the Arillaga Recreation Center on the campus of Stanford University on March 3-4. The tournament played host to a total of nine teams, including teams from Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Utah, and California. There were a total of 14 competitive games and two additional games, a “Girls Game” and an “All-Star Game” played during the weekend. The Utah Rush defeated the team from ParaSport Spokane to win the Championship and secure their bid into the National Tournament that will take place in April.
It was great to be on Stanford’s campus for the tournament. We have a new partnership with the Young Athletes Academy Program at Stanford’s Children’s Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center. This new relationship will enable BORP athletes to access the following services: sports medicine education (lectures on a wide range of topics), pre-season health assessments, access to “Ask a Nurse” program, and Injury/illness prevention programs.