Blue Cross RiverRink Expands Specialized Skating Sessions

Sled skating and private skating sessions available for children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, UNITED STATES


PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 2, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- Once again, the Blue Cross RiverRink is offering the one-of-a-kind winter sports opportunity for people with disabilities - sled skating! In a unique partnership with Variety-The Children's Charity (formally known as the Variety Club) begun in December of 2001, sled skating has returned to the Olympic-sized Blue Cross RiverRink located at Festival Pier at Penn's Landing, Columbus Boulevard and Spring Garden Street along the Delaware River.

Developed in Scandinavia, skaters with lower limb disabilities sit on a specially designed sled equipped with regulation skate blades. Sled skaters use two "grip sticks" with metal-spiked tips to propel themselves along the ice, or skaters can be assisted by someone who pushes the skater on the ice with the aid of a handlebar attached to the back of the sled. They control the sled skate by propelling themselves along the ice. This year, the Blue Cross RiverRink will expand this specialized program. Developmentally challenged children will also have an opportunity to try ice-skating or sled skating in a private session, customized for their needs.

The Blue Cross RiverRink is the only public skating facility in the region to offer specialized sessions for the physically and developmentally challenged. These special skating sessions are available on Sunday mornings from 10:30 a.m. until 12 noon. The Blue Cross RiverRink staff has been specifically trained to assist guests with their special needs. "We want every child to experience the fun and excitement of ice skating at the Blue Cross RiverRink," shared Mr. Joseph Brooks, Acting President of Penn's Landing Corporation.

Cherie Milone, General Manager of the Blue Cross RiverRink who has been ice-skating for 30 years, feels a personal reward every time she watches another child have the thrill of sled skating. "It's incredible to experience sled skating with the children," she said. "So many people take the ability to ice skate for granted. The feelings are indescribable when watching a child get out on the ice for the first time. For most of these kids, they never thought they would have such a fantastic opportunity."

Special sessions are offered Sundays (except during the holiday season - December 26 and January 2) through the end of the Blue Cross RiverRink season. The cost is $5.00 for each session, which includes the price of skating admission and sled rentals. Reservations for the sessions are required and can be made by calling 215.925.RINK.

Celebrating more than 10 years on Philadelphia's Waterfront, Penn's Landing Corporation developed the RiverRink in 1993 to make the waterfront a year-round entertainment destination. Each year the popularity increases and now more than 150,000 guests enjoy the Blue Cross RiverRink each year. Fireworks on New Year's Eve became a tradition on Penn's Landing beginning in 1991. Thousands of people attend the annual New Year's Eve festivities each year, which includes a special skating session from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Independence Blue Cross is the title sponsor of the Blue Cross RiverRink. Other supporters include: PNC Bank, and the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation.

The Rink is available for birthday parties, corporate parties and private rentals. Skating lessons and group outings are also available. For more information, call 215.925.RINK or visit www.riverrink.com.



        

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