CTRS, Program Operations Coordinator and Intern Supervisor
When Gwen was eleven years old, she was part of an organization called National Charity League (NCL). Gwen volunteered for a wheelchair sports camp for kids with physical disabilities called Ability First. The camp opened her eyes to the amazing possibilities of adaptive recreation and it changed her world forever.
Gwen received a BS in Human Physiology from the University of Oregon and then continued to get a BS in Therapeutic Recreation from California State University, Chico. Throughout college she continued to volunteer, work for, and even develop adaptive recreation programs for various community organizations. An internship at Craig Hospital brought her over to Colorado where she fell in love with the Rocky Mountains and abandoned the sunny state of California to live here at “mile high”
Gwen has a Patellar Tracking Disorder. This means that her patellas (aka kneecaps), chronically shift out of place (aka subluxation) as her legs bend or straighten. In college, walking alone became a huge issue for her and caused many limitations when it came to the sports she loved. After double-knee surgery and months of physical therapy, she was able to regain knee function with the assistance of knee braces. Her range of motion is limited as well as her weight bearing abilities, but that has not stopped her from becoming a youth volleyball coach, whitewater rafting guide, zumba instructor, climbing belayer, dragon boat drummer, and so much more!
Gwen joined the Adaptive Adventures team in January of 2018. Gwen is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) who incorporates therapeutic benefits into programs and also supervises Adaptive Adventures therapeutic recreation interns. Gwen has also completed formal training through PsychArmour Institute, US Center for SafeSport, and the American Canoe Association (ACA); and has received certifications for the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation (NCTRC), ACA Swiftwater Rescue, and CPR/FirstAid/AED.
Adaptive sports are important to Gwen because she has seen how they have transformed lives. Ever since she was a little girl, Gwen was surrounded by wheelchair sports and saw how people with disabilities still had the same passion and drive as those who were ambulatory. She was fascinated and empowered to share her experiences and help others continue to do what they loved even after injury. She strongly believes that no matter one’s ability level, all people should be able to enjoy the activities they love and have the opportunity to live a happy and healthy lifestyle. Impossible is not a word in her vocabulary. No matter the barrier, everything can be adapted and made possible. Gwen is also passionate about the therapeutic benefits of adaptive recreation.
Gwen is a member of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA).
Gwen was raised in Chico, CA. Gwen lives with her fiancé, Michael and their australian shepherd, Oakley. In her free time, Gwen loves to be outdoors doing anything that gives her that adrenaline rush: bungee jumping off bridges, hiking to the top of a mountain, kayaking through white water, spelunking through caves and snowboarding through fresh powder.
If you would like to contact Gwen Burkett, please email her at email@example.com
or call our office at (303) 679-2770.