A Team of Their Own
This summer, the majority of Pittsburgh was closely following the Penguins in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The cheering could be heard throughout the city the night that they clinched the title. It is without a doubt that the Penguins could not have done it without the help of countless volunteers and fans. This fall, I discovered another Pittsburgh hockey team that was looking to seal some wins in their upcoming season as well.
The Mighty Penguins are a sled hockey team that is based at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Center. The organization serves as a competitive and therapeutic outlet for individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities. Once a week throughout the fall semester, the DPT students at The University of Pittsburgh conducted a strength and conditioning program for the Mighty Penguins athletes. Because of the unique demands of their sport, we focused our program on upper body strength and core control. The benefits of this program extended beyond just physical conditioning. At the end of each session, everyone was a little more tired and a lot more motivated. The feeling of gratitude that we as students felt cannot be put into words.
This season is an especially good time to reach out and see what can be done in your community. In my experience of helping the Mighty Penguins prepare for their season, I was able to share in the excitement of helping a Pittsburgh team achieve their goals while also giving back to the community. No matter what your skill set is, there are countless ways to give back to the community. When you find something that allows you to use your expertise while helping others, the effect can be tremendous.
If you are in the Pittsburgh area, be sure to catch a Mighty Penguins game this year!
-Layne Gable, SPT