Providing recreation services to community members with disabilities since 1975, the Therapeutic Recreation Services (TRS) Program offered by the Sacramento County Department of Regional Parks is a fun-filled atmosphere that includes activities such as “Monster Mini Golf and Dinner” and “Ridin’ on the River.” With an active team of more than 200 athletes that compete in a variety of sporting competitions including the Special Olympics, TRS provides year-round training to all that participate in five different sports—basketball, soccer, swimming, track & field, and floor hockey. Almost everybody that trains in a sporting activity ends up competing in their Special Olympics Team called the Chargers. The Sacramento County Chargers was founded more than 30 years ago. Chargers athletes have received many awards for various sports and competitions hosted by the Special Olympics. Over the past years, the Special Olympics have also honored several of the coaches and volunteers that participate.
“It is our goal that our participants gain their highest level of independence and valuable lifelong skills that will benefit them in their everyday lives. It is our hope that participants gain improvements in communication, making choices, community awareness, social skills, learn money management skills, and develop new friendships,” said Jenn Wilson, Recreation Specialist for TRS.
TRS is staffed by two full-time and 10 part-time County employees, more than 20 regular volunteers, 50+ community volunteers from local high schools/colleges, and at times a Recreation Therapy intern that works full time for a minimum of 14 weeks. With increasing participation, TRS staff works hard to find new places to visit as well as offer more activities and sports for participants to enjoy.
“Activities are fun and you get to meet a lot of friends. The staff is cool and they really make it fun for us,” said Hermanda Seals, a TRS participant.
In addition to County funding, TRS receives donations from Eppie’s Great Race, Pathways to Recreation and individual donors. Last fiscal year, TRS received close to $50,000 in outside donations. If you wish to donate or become a volunteer, send TRS an email at TRS@SacCounty.net.
Writer and Photographer: Ryan Meza, Communication and Media Intern