Additional Therapeutic Supports
Healthy Body, Healthy Mind
At Springbrook, supporting the whole person means ensuring that each individual is leading a healthy, active lifestyle tailored to his or her unique interests. From Adaptive Physical Education to our Special Olympics program, we provide a range of opportunities for individuals of all ages and abilities to get moving and stay strong.
Springbrook Therapeutic Horseback Riding Scholarships
Therapeutic horsemanship provides opportunities for individuals of all ages and abilities to interact with horses in a safe, supportive, and enriching environment. Skillfully guided equine-assisted activities can improve cognitive, emotional, and physical well-being. Participants may engage in activities both on and off the horse, including leading and grooming.
As a physical exercise, riding can benefit an individual’s balance, posture, coordination, and overall muscle control. Therapeutic riding also involves stretching, which can improve range of motion and relaxation throughout the body. Riders may practice riding skills and games on horseback. Emotional awareness and communication come into play as the rider works together with the horse, their instructor, volunteers, and other riders. Leading and grooming activities also emphasize one-on-one interaction with the animal, which can build empathy and self-awareness as well as physical coordination.
All of these activities can boost self-confidence as riders learn new skills and experience success with various tasks and interactions.
Thanks to many generous donors, each year Springbrook offers need-based scholarships for therapeutic horseback riding at these participating stables:
- Athelas Therapeutic Riding in Otego http://athelastherapeuticridinginc.org/
- Golden Gait Farm in Masonville https://www.facebook.com/Golden-Gait-Farm-179867559035701/
Applications for the scholarships are accepted only during a designated period each year (usually February) and awards are made in March. Riders who demonstrate financial need may be awarded vouchers for 5 or 10 lessons. Applicants must be receiving services from Springbrook and/or Southern Tier Connect in order to apply.
The following guidelines and criteria will determine an applicant’s scholarship eligibility:
- Scholarships are available to children & adults with developmental disabilities who receive services from Springbrook &/or Southern Tier Connect.
- Preference will be given to those who demonstrate financial need &/or circumstances that hinder their participation in a therapeutic horse program without scholarship assistance.
- The application requires clear goals for the individual’s participation.
Vouchers are to be used during the current year, and at the participating stables.
- The application must clearly indicate who will be responsible for scheduling lessons & arranging transportation. The scholarship committee does not assist with scheduling, transportation, or staffing.
Links to the application will be posted on Springbrook’s website and social media, and Springbrook/STC staff will be notified of the specific application period. Please direct any questions about therapeutic horse scholarships to TherapeuticHorseProgram@springbrookny.org
Because horseback riding rhythmically moves the rider’s body similar to a human gait, this experience can benefit impact flexibility, balance, and muscle strength in riders with physical disabilities.
Springbrook has proudly served as home to the Scorpions Special Olympics basketball team for nearly 25 years. Each January, more than 30 athletes 8-years-old and older try out for spots on the Varsity, Junior Varsity, or Skills teams. A typical season, which runs from January through March, consists of multiple tournaments across New York State—one of which is played on our home court during the Springbrook Invitational Tournament, which takes place annually in March.
Track and Field
As a result of the generosity of The Russel Family, proud Scorpions Sponsors, Springbrook was able to add a track and field team to the list of Special Olympics certified sports that we offer in 2014. Each year, the track and field team has grown in popularity. This small but determined group begins preparing for the April – June season in February. The track and field team, which is open to athletes 8 years old and older, travels to various locations to compete in several meets across New York State, and at our own invitational (annual date subject to availability of competitors).
Springbrook Sprouts is an integrated sports program for kids of all abilities. The program will introduce basic athletic skills while building friendships and sportsmanship. The program is generally held at our Main Campus (Rt 28 just north of Oneonta), with field trips to local activities and runs for 6 weeks every Tuesday and Thursday from 5-6 pm.
Just like our Kids Unlimited Preschool, we are bringing together children with and without disabilities. In this setting, children can learn from each other; when all can participate, everybody wins! Our Springbrook Scorpions athletic team boasts some of the most talented coaches in the region. Your child will benefit from quality structured instruction while having fun in a supportive environment!
For more information about the Sprouts Program or to sign-up your child, please contact Nicole Sokolowski today!
Springbrook has supported a soccer team since 2008, but undoubtedly the most exciting occurance in Scorpions Athletics took place in the summer of 2018 when the Scorpions Soccer Team represented New York State at the Special Olympics Summer USA Games in Seattle, WA. Soccer continues to be a growing and popular sport for athletes 8 years old and above, with a Varsity, JV, and Skills team participating in a fall season. Look for the Springbrook Invitational Tournament at Family Day in September!