Special Olympics New Jersey Incorporates TRAIN Program into State Games
by Kalee Baker, SONJ Program Outreach Manager
Speed. Power. Agility. Balance. Coordination. These athletic skills, among others, were easy to spot when athletes stepped into the rinks at the Special Olympics New Jersey 2013 State Floor Hockey Tournament at Stockton College this past weekend.
TRAIN stands for Testing Recreational Activities and Improving Nutrition and, according to the TRAIN website, is designed to be “a fun way for athletes to test their physical skills, discover new sports to play, and learn about exercise and nutrition.”
The TRAIN circuit is divided into 14 stations. Ten of those stations focus on fitness, testing the skills of speed, agility, power, strength, coordination, balance, flexibility and aerobic endurance. Education about proper nutrition is the focus of three other stations. At the final station, athletes receive a printout of their results with details such as their strongest skills, skills they need to improve, and suggestions for other Special Olympics sports they may like to try.
When athletes complete the TRAIN program, their results are uploaded into an international database, providing Special Olympics with data to help track and improve athlete health and quality of life. Athletes, family members and coaches are also encouraged to review the results in order to help create an appropriate exercise and nutrition program that will not only enhance performance in sports, but also improve overall health and wellness.
Keep an eye out for the TRAIN program at nearly all of the Special Olympics New Jersey state games. There is also a wealth of information available online, including two sets of supplementary material: “TRAIN @ Home” and “TRAIN @ School.”
For more information on TRAIN, please visit the website at www.trainso.blogspot.com or call Special Olympics New Jersey at (609) 896-8000.