On Sunday, November 5, 2023, 11 Physical Therapy professionals and students, including those from Northeastern’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program, conducted a FUNFitness screening clinic for more than 30 athletes at the Special Olympics Massachusetts (SOMA) State Soccer Tournament.
Originally developed by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), FUNFitness is a physical therapy event that provides athletes the opportunity to be assessed for flexibility, functional strength, balance, and aerobic fitness.
Physical therapists, physical therapy assistants, and students offered expert guidance and exercise recommendations to prevent and reduce the risk of injury and improve the athlete’s optimal function in sport and everyday life.
Ann Golub-Victor, Clinical Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, Movement, and Rehabilitation Sciences, is SOMA’s FUNFitness Clinical Director. In that role, she recruits PT volunteers, organizes the event with SOMA personnel, and is on-site to run the event, help screen as needed, and advocate for athlete participation.
Sunday’s team included PTMRS faculty Sheri Kiami, Lori Solo, and Heidi Cheerman; PT students Maya Felten ’24, Abby Reigner ’24, Zhengang Xu ’25, and Katelyn Arias Liriano ’26. They were joined by Emma Metzger, PT, DPT ’23, Beth Currier, PT, and Michelle Fleweling, PTA.
All who participated – therapists, students, and athletes – had a great time! Athletes were happy to go through the various stations and share their excitement about competing with their teams.
“This was the first FUNFitness clinic held since the pandemic and I am so pleased we had such a great turnout. Everyone was smiling – and tired – at the end of the day. It is a privilege to offer this physical therapy fitness screen and education to the athletes and to work alongside my PT colleagues and students. They brought their skill and positive energy to the event, for which I am grateful,” said Golub-Victor.
“This was a fun way to give back to the community by using my skills as a student physical therapist to … help these athletes continue to play the sports they love through injury prevention and education,” said Abby Regnier. “It was rewarding seeing the smiles and gratitude of the athletes of varying ages and abilities as they went through the different stations. I feel honored to have served this community alongside fellow classmates and Northeastern faculty.”