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Cindy Ficorelli

Phone: (810) 606-6270
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Genesys Athletic Club offers adapted aquatic swim program

(GRAND BLANC, MI) Children with special needs have a place to learn basic swimming skills in a fun, relaxing environment. Genesys Athletic Club (GAC) offers an adaptive aquatic swim program for children aged 4 to 17 who experience some physical limitations.
During one hour swimming sessions in a warm water therapy pool - one of the only ones in the region - children are paired with their parent or adult partner while an adapted aquatic instructor - trained to teach special needs children - works individually with the parent/child team to improve the child's posture, muscle strength and joint flexibility, as well as their self-esteem and confidence.

The six-week series will be held on Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., on these dates: Feb. 24, March 3, March 10, March 17, April 7 and April 14.

According to Tera Galloway, a certified aquatic therapy instructor at the GAC and class swim teacher, " this program offers a great environment for this special group of children who need to relieve the stress of the extra challenges they experience in the world of gravity."

The Genesys Athletic Club designed one of its pools especially for individuals with special needs. The pool's temperature is 88 degrees to 90 degrees, which is ideal for adaptive aquatics; it is 100 percent handicapped accessible; it is three feet to four feet deep; it has steps instead of a ladder; and it has a pool lift for wheelchairbound participants.

The Genesys Athletic Club started a pilot program more than one year ago when a local mother approached the club asking for help for her child with cerebral palsy. "She could not find a program anywhere, so we decided to pilot one ourselves," reports Trice Hirr, aquatics director at the GAC. "We started the program with two families and we've been running classes consecutively ever since. The children in the classes not only make physical strides, but emotional ones, too."

Cost of the adapted aquatic swim classes is $42 for a six, one hour classes. For additional information or to sign up your child, call the Genesys Athletic Club at (810) 606-7300.


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