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STRIDE Virtual Programming


Contact: Mary Ellen Whitney

Tel: (518) 598-1279




West Sand Lake, NY – May 1, 2020 – Although virtual can be used to describe anything that exists in effect, but not in fact, it is often used to describe things created in a computer or online world.  So how does a regional adaptive sports non-profit survive this pandemic, when one-to-one instruction or team sports are the very essence of what they do for people who have special needs?

As CEO and Founder, Mary Ellen Whitney always has said, “We Adapt.” As Whitney explains, “There have been several obstacles, bumps in the road, and true boundaries that have been in the way of getting the organization to where it is today and since we are accustomed to having to adapt, we will do it one more time.” 

According to STRIDE Program Director, Megan Evans, “Our new virtual programming is called Adapt in STRIDE. We have compiled resources to suit the needs of everyone’s mind, body, and spirit.  We are creating fitness videos, live Facebook events, virtual guitar lessons, Zoom team meetings, dance parties online, shared games and family activities. We’ve encouraged families to continue what has been learned in our programs at home. Now parents are truly being forced to do so. We are trying to provide as many resources and variety of activities to suit the needs of all the populations we have been serving. I myself have had to do some quick learning and adapting in order to make sure that I could seamlessly get activities up and running.”

A lesson to be learned by all of this is to be adaptable. While we are asked by government to social distance in person, that doesn’t mean isolation. We can learn from all of our athlete and veterans, who have never let any of the obstacles get in their way. We adapt in stride.

To add to our virtual programming, starting now and hitting the finish line on June 20th, STRIDE Adaptive Sports is helping people around the Capital Region to stride toward an empowering response to the COVID-19 crisis. According to Whitney, the organization will be holding a virtual event where both people with disabilities and the able-bodied can run, walk, or roll their way toward fitness and health while social distancing. As Whitney explains, people can choose a “Competitive 5k” option where they run at a local track of their choice and submit their times against other remote competitors, or a “Casual Run, Walk ‘n Roll” registration where participation and a positive attitude are the name of the game. Families are also invited to schedule a time to visit their 85 acre camp in Chatham, NY.  If you are in need of a change of scenery, there are several hiking trails, a pond, and outdoor education opportunities that can take place with you and your family. 

STRIDE Adaptive Sports is more than just sports and recreation programs for those with disabilities in the Capital Region of New York.  It is a community and family of people who care about equality and providing social opportunities to those who need it the most. For the past 34 years, STRIDE has fulfilled needs in this community through employing the help of selfless volunteers to make the mission carry forward throughout the community. We’re always adapting to the needs of creating fun, engaging, and healthy opportunities for those who don’t always get the same opportunities as the “typical” person. Although we are not able to do so in person, we quickly adapted. It’s what we do.

Visit our website to learn how stay active at home –



Celebrating 34 years, STRIDE Adaptive Sports is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides over 11,000 adaptive sport and recreation lessons each year to individuals with disabilities, focusing on youth and Wounded Warriors. With a focus on individual life-time sports, STRIDE programs use specialized equipment or teaching aids for successful participation to “level the playing field” for all.  STRIDE is a partner member of Disabled Sports USA and Professional Ski Instructors of America; a US Paralympic Sport Club; a training club for New York Special Olympics; and an official Red Cross provider. STRIDE is recognized as one of the leading adaptive sport programs in the Northeastern United States.