All-Around Involvement

Teach every swimmer, regardless of ability.

The one-hour inclusive program met twice a week. The team was divided into two age groups to provide more age-appropriate exercises. Each age group was then divided into two sub-groups by skill level. Each sub-group had a minimum of two coaches/volunteers.

A variety of equipment was used, including kickboards, pool noodles, dive toys and swim-through rings to encourage skill development, socialization and fun.

At the beginning of each practice, the coaches discussed daily plans and listed the activities on a dry-erase board to encourage successful transitions.

At summer’s end, a “fun meet” was held to showcase the swimmers’ new skills.

While inclusion is possible in any setting, it does take a good deal of desire and effort by staff members; however, the benefits outweigh the costs.

Providing children with opportunities to take part in an inclusive program enables them to grow and learn as people. And these programs have the potential for financial gains and expanded job opportunities.

So take a chance, make a difference, and become inclusive!

Gabrielle Hukill is an inclusion facilitator and graduate assistant in the Department of Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality Management at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She can be reached via e-mail at grhukill@uncg.edu.

Frannie Varker is the pool manager for Green Valley Swim and Tennis in Greensboro, N.C.

Stuart J. Schleien, Ph.D., LRT/CPRP, is professor and director of the Graduate Study Department of Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality Management at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

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