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Kayak gift bolsters Henry’s Special Olympics Program

Officials in Henry County’s Parks and Recreation Department hope to expand the agency’s Therapeutic Recreation Division, by launching a Special Olympic Kayaking Team.

The kayaking team would be part of many offerings the agency provides to Henry County residents with special needs, according to county spokesperson, Julie Hoover-Ernst.

She said county commissioners recently accepted a generous donation of kayaking equipment from the Georgia Kayak Fishing Association.

“The donation of four kayaks, a wrap, and an enclosed cargo event trailer with a total value of $8,500, is expected to be enough to propel Henry County’s pilot program with the hopes of making kayaking an official Special Olympic Sport in the state of Georgia,” said Hoover-Ernst

“We have one of the best therapeutic recreation programs in the state,” said Tim Coley, director of Henry County’s Parks and Recreation Department. “I believe that’s why we’ve been asked to take off with this program.”

The Henry County Parks and Recreation Department’s Therapeutic Recreation Division, along with the Georgia Kayak Fishing Foundation, sponsored a Kayak and Fishing Field Day for the special needs community, in June, at the Cubihatcha Outdoor Center, in Locust Grove.

“Special athletes had a chance to whet their appetite for the water sport,” added Hoover-Ernst. “It was because of that special program that the organization was honored with the Innovative Program of the Year [recognition] for their efforts.”

For more information about the Therapeutic Recreation Division, or any of the Henry County Parks and Recreation Department’s programs or activities, visit www.hcprd.org