be.well Adaptive Running Program Wins Award of Excellence

Ohio Parks and Recreation Association (OPRA) has announced its 2020 Annual Awards of Excellence winners. Cincinnati Parks Foundation won 1st Place in the Adaptive Programming category for the Spring be.well Adaptive Running Program!

“Parks and recreation professionals throughout Ohio work every day to improve the quality of life of the people they serve,” said OPRA Executive Director Woody Woodward.  “This effort is a shining example of that kind of work, and we are pleased to be able to present this award.”

ABOUT THE be.well adaptive running program

The be.well Adaptive Virtual Running Program was the Spring session of a yearlong program in Cincinnati Parks created for those with childhood onset disability and was developed in partnership with Cincinnati Parks Foundation (CPF), Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, and Fleet Feet. CPF funds each seasonal program which include running, hiking, martial arts, and yoga. The spring installment of the program was offered May 25- August 2 and featured:

  • Free individually fitted running shoes
  • Weekly online video instruction
  • Teleconferencing and socializing with peers
  • In-person mobility lessons with physical therapists in Cincinnati Parks and Virtual run-buddies
  • A self-completed/paced virtual 5K race in Smale Riverfront Park

Especially important during the early onset of the pandemic, when most public places were closed, this program gave families a safe option to get out and socialize. As a team, participants spent more than 500 hours engaged in physical activity during the 10-week program. 

The program provided sustainable benefits to the community by helping to instill healthy lifestyle choices and created lasting improvements in participants’ self-image. Social competence and global self-worth both increased following program participation and participants reported feeling more socially successful and experienced a greater sense of worth as a person at the end of the 10 weeks.


The OPRA Annual Awards of Excellence will be presented at a banquet hosted by the association in April of 2021 in Sandusky, Ohio. The awards were judged by a panel of parks and recreation professionals from around Ohio.

Incorporated in 1963, OPRA is a non-profit, public interest organization representing over 2000 professionals and citizen board members striving to provide quality parks and recreation facilities and opportunities for all Ohioans while protecting and preserving Ohio’s natural resources, positively impacting local economies and health and wellness of its citizens


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