Adaptive Recreation Takes Off with Branford’s Perfect Pals

The Branford Parks and Recreation Department launched a new program over the summer, making sure everyone has recreation opportunities.


The Branford Parks and Recreation Department truly has a program to suit everyone’s needs, expanding its already extensive offerings with the addition of an adaptive recreation program – Perfect Pals – over the summer.

Now the program is in full swing with more than a dozen regular participants – a number program supervisor Andrea Kenney wants to see grow.

“Adaptive rec is becoming a huge part of recreation world and people have been asking for it in the community,” said Kenney. “Jamie [Bellonio] and I have been trying to pick the right time to start it and this summer was it.”

Bellonio and Kenney worked together to develop the program, which finally launched this summer. Perfect Pals is aimed at teens and young adults ages 13 and older, who are interested in participating in recreational activities.


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“It’s a spinoff of Unified Sports, but with more of a recreation style,” said Kenney.

So far, Perfect Pals has gone on outings to Circle Lanes for bowling and to the movie theater with another bowling outing planned for Thursday, Nov. 15 from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

Though the outing trips usually have a cost associated with them for the trip, Perfect Pals also offers free recreation as well. During Pal Time, participants get full use of all of the fun the Rec Center has to offer with pinball, Wii, dancing, socializing and more. On Tuesdays through Oct. 30, Perfect Pals holds an exercise class from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m., alternating between yoga and Zumba classes.

Kenney also counts on a number of volunteers, many of whom come from Branford High School.

“They’ve been wonderful,” said Kenney. “It’s nice because they can relate to the kids and many of them recognize the volunteers from school.”

Not all participants are from Branford, though, as Perfect Pals welcomes teens from any town and Kenney is hoping more surrounding towns get involved, too. Kenney has also collaborated with SARAH and VISTA, noting that Perfect Pals is looking forward to taking part in SARAH’s Halloween party this year.

“We have lots of activities planned, but we’re open to suggestions – if there’s something someone wants to do, we’d love to make it happen,” said Kenney, who is now working on organizing a bus trip to a Bridgeport Sound Tigers’ game.

For information, call Andrea Kenney at 203-315-2355.


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