The founder and instructor, Ricardo Cunningham, is a 2005 graduate of George Mason University, with over 13 years of experience working with children of all ages and developmental levels. He is also the author of two books: Adaptive Fitness and Gross Motor Development and How to Ride a Bike in 24-Hours. Ricardo has a B.S. degree in Health Fitness and Recreation Research and an A.S. degree in Physical Education. Ricardo is a fitness educator, working with several schools in the Northern Virginia area to promote the importance of health and fitness amongst all children. He has worked with schools to create programs to integrate neurotypical and special needs children, where both demographics can work together to achieve a common goal.
He is the nephew to an aunt, one year his senior, who has Down Syndrome. And at a very young age Ricardo started assisting his aunt with her motor skills and helping her in physical activities and sport skills, so she would be more confident and feel included. His experience with his aunt drives his passion to help all children develop their athletic ability. Ricardo's vision is to create a safe environment where children of all ages can exercise and have fun at the same time.
Over the past 15 years, Ricardo has impacted the lives of many children with disabilities. He has a special gift of connecting with children with disabilities and helping them to develop their gross motor skills. Ricardo’s patience and knowledge has helped him to assist children that are physically disabled to walk; he has taught hundreds of children to ride their bikes; he has helped children that are overweight to lose weight and enjoy exercising; he has taught his students' team work and helped them to build their social skills through movement and sports.
Ricardo has also been a mentor to several college students by offering them internship opportunities at LCF. He states that “There is a great need for more people with the necessary skills, compassion, and patience for working with children with special needs; and if I am able to help mold someone into their purpose in life I am more than happy to help”.