Saturday, October 23, 2021

RSFS needs all hands on deck in plans for accessible launch

September 20, 2021
MSU Sailing Center July 21, 2021
MSU Sailing Center July 21, 2021 —
Photo by Chloe Trofatter | The State News

Michigan State’s Recreational Sports and Fitness Services, or RSFS, has its sights set on expanding lake access at Lake Lansing with its Accessible Launch Project. 

“It’s going to benefit the whole community, retirees, alumni, anybody.” 2:30 RSFS Assistant Director Jody Strank said. 

The three-phase project will start with an accessible walkway that will run from the lake’s handicap parking all the way to the water’s edge. 

RSFS hopes to fund phase one with a 5K, set for Oct. 3, 2021. 

“We want to make [the race] as accessible as we possibly can,” Strank said, “If you’re in a wheelchair, if you decide to do hand cycling, if you use a walker, if you have a baby and want to push it in a stroller to do this run, everybody’s welcome.” 

Participants can sign up for the race on the RSFS website.

Phase two entails a seawall for the dock system, which will stabilize and protect the docks and beach from erosion. 

The third and final phase of the project will be the addition of a wheelchair-accessible launch for kayaks, canoes and paddle boards. 

The launch will feature a transfer station, which allows persons with limited leg mobility to move unassisted from a wheelchair to a kayak or canoe.

“This docking system would even allow us to have a wheelchair-bound person go from the dock to the pontoon,” Strank said. 

The launch is also the most expensive phase of the project. RSFS needs to raise $35,000 to begin construction and is looking for grants and corporate donations.

RSFS facilitates all of the intramural and club sports on campus. This includes all indoor and outdoor facilities, such as IM East, IM West, IM Circle and the Sailing Center at Lake Lansing. 

The department has been building its adaptive recreation program for over 35 years. 

Students with disabilities have access to a number of on-campus sports programs This includes blind soccer, adaptive archery and rifle shooting and wheelchair tennis, soccer, hockey and rugby. 

Each intramural facility has its own set of accessible workout equipment for lifting, cardio and swimming.

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