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Adaptive programs enable people with disabilities to enjoy paddle sports

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Adaptive kayak event strips away limitations for the disabled, according to news reporter Danielle Ferguson for the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Ferguson’s article, which appeared in the Leader on June 8, 2014, was about the “Adaptive Paddling Fair at Family Park” that took on Sunday.

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Although Ferguson's article was about the benefits of Adaptive Programs in general, one of the primary features was kayaker Stephen Bruggeman, from Lennox, South Dakota. Mr. Bruggeman, according Ferguson “Is a Coast Guard veteran who was shot during peacetime about 30 years ago in Kodiak, Alaska. He has a thick white beard, a loud laugh and four right legs, including a swimming leg and a running leg.”

Ferguson adds, “Before hopping into a kayak, Stephen Bruggeman had to strap on one of his four right legs that could handle getting wet.”

This was not Bruggeman’s first time in the water according to Ferguson. “He has been kayaking since 2008 when he went on a trip with 17 other veterans to Mexico. The group went whitewater rafting, and Bruggeman took on a 30-foot waterfall seal dive, where the kayak takes a nosedive into the water.”

On Sunday, June 8, 2014 at the “Adaptive Paddling Fair at Family Park” Bruggeman took a smaller, three-foot seal dive off the dock into Family Lake located in Family Park. Sioux Falls.

Just before the event began, “About 20 adults with disabilities strapped on a life jacket and stripped away the limitations for a morning on the water.”

Numerous programs and associations help sponsor the annual Adaptive Paddling Fair. Some of these include “The Sanford Accessibility Wellness Program, the Sioux Falls Veterans Association and the South Dakota Canoe and Kayak Association collaborated for a second year to bring people with disabilities the opportunity to kayak.”

According Ann Nelson, recreation therapist with the Sioux Falls Veterans Association, "There's no reason why they can't still enjoy it. There is a way to adapt everything,"

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