By Lauren Rau
JEFFERSON CITY– Courtney Norgen, a Mizzou figure skater, gives skating lessons to children with disabilities at the Washington Ice Rink in Jefferson City, Mo. Adaptive Figure Skating is a program offered to children with disabilities ranging from down syndrome to severe autism, and while Norgen does skate for the Mizzou Figure Skating team, there is no skating background required to volunteer. “I love seeing the kids being able to do something they can’t do in their normal lives. They come to practice with no expectations and achieve so much,” Norgen said. Norgen uses bubbles as an incentive to help the kids skate. By blowing the bubbles and telling the kids to chase them, they skate without even thinking about it. “Working with the kids and helping them feel more normal is an amazing feel,” Norgen said. While the Mizzou figure skating team is only a club team, it is still a large commitment. The team travels for competitions, and practice is in Jefferson City at 5 AM on Tuesday mornings. She shares how the adaptive figure skating program has helped her skating. “I believe it is always harder to teach a skill, then to learn a skill. By helping the kids learn to skate, I get to go back to the basics with my own skating skills,” Norgen said. “It is essential for me to continue to master the basics, so I can continue to learn more advanced skills.” The adaptive program runs every Thursday night from 6:15 until 7:45 at the Washington Ice Rink. Kids ages 5 to 13 are eligible to participate.
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