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Therapeutic Skating

Hershey Twizzles -- Therapeutic Skating

What is therapeutic skating? 

Skating is great exercise, but can be especially beneficial to those with developmental disabilities, physical challenges, or who are recovering from an injury. Benefits include:

  • Skating requires an erect posture and a certain measure of control, thus participation in the sport has been found to contribute to better breathing, improved circulation and balance, better posture and overall strength of body.
  • In overcoming the restrictions of their handicaps through pleasant recreation, the skaters tend to become more outgoing.
  • They are provided opportunities to meet new friends with a common interest and to identify with a group. They encounter fun as they develop confidence and self-respect, not only among the skaters in their group, but also among families and friends. 
  • In ice skating, an individual sport, skaters can progress at their own rate according to their ability. 

One-on-one assistance, under the guidance of a United States Figure Skating Association-certified coach

Our Hershey Twizzles program runs for 5-weeks, with the first week may involve mostly off-ice (depending upon skater ability) but in skates (progressing to on-ice as the skaters' ability improves).  It is open to kids 5-16. 

  • Skaters will be paired with their own  volunteer "buddy," and  work at his or her own pace under the guidance of our USFSA-certified coach.
  • Your skater will work on a special Therapeutic Skating curriculum, earning badges along the way.  Badges can be sewn onto a skating or winter jacket, and be a reminder of their success.  The first badge is done off-ice during the first session, as the skaters grow accustomed to wearing and standing in skates. 
  • The curriculum can be seen at the link below. 

How Much Does This Cost? 

The cost is $62 for the 5 weeks, with rental skates an additional $2.50 (please contact us well in advance if your skater needs special skates, and we will try to make arrangements for adaptive equiopment).  There is also a one-time (per year) $16 membership fee to Learn-to-Skate USA.  (Note: those who have previously registered will need to join Learn to Skate USA again for July 1-June 30 sessions. Those who participated in our Summer session in 2018 will not need to pay the $16 again). 

We recommend that skaters bring a bike or hockey helmet.  Walkers will be provided for those who need it. 

In the future, we hope to lower the costs through grant-writing and donations.  Please contact us if you believe your potential skater might need adaptive equipment. 

Upcoming sessions

Our next 5-week session will start on Monday, October 29, and run 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. 

All sessions will be held at the Giant Center. 

Fall - Session 1

  Oct. 29 4:30 - 5:30 PM
  Nov. 5 4:30 - 5:30 PM
  Nov. 12 4:30 - 5:30 PM
  Nov. 26 4:30 - 5:30 PM
  Dec. 3 4:30 - 5:30 PM


Winter - Session 2

Jan. 7 4:30 - 5:30 PM
Jan. 14 4:30 - 5:30 PM
Jan. 21 4:30 - 5:30 PM
Jan. 28 4:30 - 5:30 PM
Jan. 4 4:30 - 5:30 PM

Registration for Session 1 below. 

Volunteers Needed As Buddies

Each of our participant skaters will be paired with a volunteer buddy, both on and off ice.  You need not be an expert skater to volunteer, but be comfortable on ice.  

If you are interested in being a volunteer buddy to one of our Hershey Swizzles skaters, please fill out the form at the link below . While we prefer to have someone available for each of the Mondays, it is okay to volunteer even if you have  to miss a week or so. We need extra volunteers to cover absences. Contact Audrie Schaller at hersheyfigureskate@gmail.com.  


Wheels On Ice

Wheels on Ice is back this fall at the fully-accessible Giant Center.  

Do you or someone you know use a wheelchair? Want to experience being on the ice in the Giant Center?  For $5 per person, come join us  at any of the dates you see list for Therapeutic Skating above.  You can:

  • Do it independently
  • Bring your own assistant (skates rentals are available for $2.50, but your assistant will otherwise not have to pay the $5)
  • Use the assistance of one of our on-ice volunteers 

    Registration at the link below is optional, but helps us plan for on-ice staff. If you desire one of our on-ice volunteers, please let us know by registering.