HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — The Shenandoah Valley Inclusive Wellness Coalition is a group that aims to improve wellness for individuals with disabilities throughout the Valley.
Daniel Barnhart, one of the scholarship recipients, practices boxing with his trainer, Randy Simpson | Photo: WHSV
Amanda Campbell, who is on the leadership team for the coalition, said part of the group's mission is to give people with disabilities a chance to try a new physical activity. It received a grant by the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities to allow these scholarships.
"Individuals may not realize that, 'Hey, this is an activity that I can do, this is an activity that is for me,'" said Campbell.
Daniel Barnhart is the project assistant for individuals with disabilities and families for the coalition. Barnhart is also a recipient of one of the scholarships from the coalition.
He has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, and he has used the scholarship to take up the sport of boxing.
"I feel the happiest I've ever been," said Barnhart.
Barnhart works with trainer Randy Simpson, who owns Edge Effect Fitness in Harrisonburg, which is an all-inclusive gym.
"Physical activity is probably the best medicine that there is and we're trying to provide that," said Simpson.
Barnhart said boxing has become a spiritual activity for him, and it allows him to do things he hasn't done in years.
"I'm able to use my hands, I'm able to manipulate my hands, and use my body and be in touch with my body," said Barnhart. "Everybody has a life, no matter how disabled they are."
The coalition would like to give away more scholarships to individuals who are eligible. You can find out more information about the coalition here.
The coalition will have a meeting on Friday, September 27, 2019, at 3:30 p.m.