iCanBike Camp at MSU teaches individuals with special needs to ride two-wheel bicycles

Contact: Camille Carskadon

A camp staff member assists a youth learning to ride a bike
iCanBike Camp takes place May 16-20 at the MSU Sanderson Center. (OPA Photo)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State’s Department of Kinesiology is hosting its third annual iCanBike Camp May 16-20 in the Sanderson Center. The program is offered in partnership with the non-profit charity iCan Shine and teaches participants with special needs how to independently ride a two-wheel bicycle.

iCan Shine is a national organization that works with local organizations to host camps in individual communities. Staff members travel the country conducting the camps and have an average success rate of 80%. Participants attend one 75-minute session each day for five consecutive days.

Associate Professor of Kinesiology Gregg Twietmeyer said the benefits are two-fold:

—participants can learn the joys of riding a bike, which can lead to increased self-esteem, self-confidence, physical fitness and peer inclusion; and

—MSU students, who volunteer as spotters for the riders, get to see firsthand the important role of physical activity and play in human well-being and culture.

“Our goal is to help as many riders and their families as possible in 2022, especially after a two-year COVID hiatus. This is the only camp in Mississippi and one of only a handful across the entire American South,” Twietmeyer said. “The more kids we enroll, the more kids we can help discover the joys of riding a bike.”

To be eligible to register for the camp, participants must be at least eight years old and have a diagnosed disability. They must have a minimum inseam of 20 inches, weigh less than 220 pounds and be able to walk without assistive devices. Teens and adults may participate as well.

The registration fee is $100 and some scholarships are available for those in need. Riders who attend Starkville Oktibbeha County School District can attend the camp for free thanks to a partnership between SOCSD and the university.

For more information on registration or volunteering, visit bulldogbike.msstate.edu. For more details on registering via the partnership with SOCSD, contact Julie Jones, The SOCSD Director of Student Support Services at jujones@starkville.k12.ms.us or 662-615-0059.

For more on the camp or to inquire about a scholarship, contact Gregg Twietmeyer at g.twietmeyer@msstate.edu or 662-268-7533.

Individuals interested in helping to defray the costs through financial donations or sponsorships may contact Trish Cunetto, director of development for the MSU College of Education, at tcunetto@colled.msstate.edu or 662-325-6762.

Established in 1903, MSU’s College of Education is home to six academic departments, one research unit and numerous service units. For more about the college, visit www.educ.msstate.edu.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.