Since mid-March, Seacoast United Sports Club has been actively using its platform to help provide support to players, families and communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Every walk of life has felt the impact of this virus, no matter their age or ability. For those who are impacted by learning or intellectual disabilities the need for routine and interaction with trusted teachers and mentors is vital and when this normalcy is interrupted, they can be strongly affected.
Seacoast United Maine has been fortunate to begin a relationship with PSL Services/ STRIVE, a non-profit organization that provides social and educational programs for teens and adults with intellectual disabilities, from Southern Maine. With their program, participants having to use remote learning methods, the vital interaction and activity must be provided in new and different ways. One way has been through a collaborative effort between Emily Wright of PSL Services and the Seacoast United coaching staff who have started a weekly MOVEMENT GROUP class that focuses on a mix of stretching, mobility and exercise while also providing a fun social. By using the ZOOM format, participants and staff can interact directly but safely. "First of all, I love it!I like being involved," participant, Susie states. "After Movement group, I have more energy and sleep better at night...I love it!!!" These classes have been helpful to the participants while also being the blue print to possibly more unconventional coaching and teaching methods.
"These times have forced us to be more willing to step out of our comfort zone in how we teach and interact." said Thom Nickley, Seacoast United PSL Services instructor. "Being able to participate with an organization in our community like PSL/STRIVE has been a silver lining to this period of added stress for us all." Nickley went on to say, “Whether it is a basic exercise class, a follow the leader movement competition or a MARVEL Superhero training session with special guest SpiderMan, we have seen everyone benefit from this interaction.”