SABAH Program Helps Special-Needs Skaters Achieve Goals
By Joanne Vassallo Jamrosz, special to U.S. Figure Skating Online
Jean Coyle remembers her daughter Emma’s first skating experience with SABAH as almost her last.
“When the volunteer skate fitter tied up Emma’s skates for the first time, all she did was cry,” Coyle said. “I didn’t think we’d go back, but after our tears subsided and we had a week to think, we returned, put the skates on and hit the ice.
“That has been where we’ve been every Saturday morning from September to March for the last 16 years.”
SABAH stands for “Skating Athletes Bold at Heart.” Through SABAH, individuals challenged by disabilities can set and attain goals to improve strength, balance, self-discipline and focus. Skaters learn to develop a process of goal setting and goal achieving while sharing the ice with family and friends. SABAH also helps skaters sustain better overall health and wellness including muscle strength, fine and gross motor skills, coordination, social skills and self-esteem.