Tapping Olympic games for engagement

The glory, fanfare and international recognition of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games spurred competition and new enthusiasm at ProAct in Red Wing.

Enthused participation in multiple events and cheering sections for ProAct competitors made this summer activity the highlight of the year, explains instructor and direct service professional (DSP) Kathy Tesch.

Outside ProAct’s walls were hurdle, shot put, discus, two-person walk and team water race events. Spreading the glory, each of the five days culminated in gold, silver and bronze medal ceremonies.

“They couldn’t wait to go home and show their medals to staff and parents,” said Tesch.

DSPs Lori Clemons and Char Dudley helped run the competitions. Pairing exercise and fun to engage people has multiple benefits, Tesch explains.

“Having the clients do activities that benefit their physical health increases the positive feelings they have about themselves and others,” she said.

Staff use a concept called “The Zones of Regulation” which ties people’s feelings into one of four zones. Tesch said the practice helps people to handle emotions, which can change throughout the day.

The 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo gather top athletes from around the world. The events kept the 2020 title to accommodate a year delay due to COVID-19.