By Arden Franklyn
Water + Kids = Fun — That was the winning formula last Tuesday at Backyard Sports Cares’ weekly afterschool swim program for Thomas H. Slater Center children. Hosted at the SUNY Purchase pool and led by Swim Team Captain, Colleen Ferguson, the program brings the fundamentals of swimming to seven to ten-year-olds with limited access to aquatic resources and programs. The one-hour lesson featured treading, floating, proper breathing and various swimming styles.
All eyes were on Colleen and her fellow coaches (also members of Purchase’s swimming teams), as swimmers demonstrated unbridled enthusiasm and eagerness to learn new techniques. It was impressive to be part of the experience.
In the early stages of Tuesday’s lesson, all of the children and coaches participated in a stretching warm-up prior to entering the pool and splitting into groups. After entering the water, the kids were given paddles where they were taught proper gripping form before progressing to the first of a few new swimming techniques. With Colleen leading the way, each child tried their best on each repetition. Assistant coaches were on hand to supervise and provide advice. Whenever a little change or two was needed during a drill, one of the coaches quickly offered friendly redirection, so the kids could correct their movements and follow along. As the session went on, a certain rhythm was established and everybody began to have fun.
Whether it was holding on to the side of the pool or performing leg kicks, laughter and high fives were plentiful within the group. The children were feeling more comfortable swimming out further into the pool with or without their paddles. Regardless of their individual skill level, I saw progress being made in every way possible and that success coupled with fun is what keeps kids coming back for more!
Please join us for our first Backyard Benefit on April 27th and support
athletic programs that make sports accessible to all kids. #Sports4Everyone