IRSC Physical Therapist Assistant Students Help Athletes at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando - Indian River State College
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IRSC Physical Therapist Assistant Students Help Athletes at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando

IRSC Physical Therapist Assistant Students Help Athletes at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando

June 30, 2022 Robert Lane

FORT PIERCE, FL—Indian River State College (IRSC) Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) students had the opportunity to help athletes participating in the Special Olympics USA Games by Walt Disney World Resort at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, FL from June 5 to 15.

IRSC PTA Students help at Special Olympics

Dr. Jennifer Nunalee, IRSC adjunct professor (second to right), stands with IRSC Physical Therapist Assistant students (from left to right) Terrence Reid, Kim Nobles, David Perez-Rivera, Kerri Rhodes, and Yanet Guzman hosted by Walt Disney World Resort at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, FL. The venue was home to the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games where IRSC students assisted athletes participating in the games this year by working to provide fitness screenings and home exercise programs for participants in the Games.


Under the guidance of licensed physical therapists, IRSC PTA students performed fitness screenings for athletes that included balance, strength, and flexibility assessments, and provided athletes with home exercise programs based on the student’s findings during the screening.

The student’s assistance is highly beneficial to the athletes performing in the games and provides a valuable hands-on learning experience for the PTA students who volunteer.

IRSC Adjunct Professor Dr. Jennifer Nunalee accompanied the IRSC PTA team to the games. She began volunteering with the Special Olympics as a Physical Therapy student and found it rewarding and valuable.

“Having a chance to practice the hands-on skills attained while in the PTA Program with real patients in the community is vital to student learning,” shares Dr. Nunalee. “I am so glad I get to pass this opportunity along to other students and see them experience so much fulfillment working with the athletes. It is a great reminder for the students to see what they are working so hard for in the classroom.”

During the week, more than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean traveled to Florida to unite in one of the country’s most cherished sporting events. The USA Games is hosted once every four years and showcases 19 Olympic-style team and individual sports and 30 events throughout the week.

For more information about the Physical Therapist Assistant program page: https://irsc.edu/programs/physical-therapist-assistant.html or contact Wendy McNall at wmcnall@irsc.edu.

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