This week at Robicheaux Recreation Center there is a week long swim camp for those with disabilities. It may just seem like a chance to get their feet wet before the summer, but this program is doing much more.
Learning how to swim and other recreational activities doesn’t come easy for everyone especially if you have a disability.
Liz Taylor’s son Jobi Taylor has special needs. She says, “I know with my son, repetition is how he learns so whatever he learns here we’ll have to do at home over and over again.”
Monday through Friday iCan Shine, Lafayette Parks and Recreation and Down Syndrome Association of Acadiana is offering swim classes for people diagnosed with any disability.
Lisa Ruby, executive director of iCan Shine says, “We have camps and programs that are specially for these children and then we hope that they would be able to be included in other swim classes or dance camps or bike camps.”
Taylor’s son, Jobi Taylor is 19 and loves to swim in their pool. “I want him to be able to swim if he can’t touch the bottom like in a large body of water he’ll know what to do.”
Ruby explains that the first day is all about getting the swimmers comfortable with the volunteer instructors and being in the water, then the work begins. “Everyone sets their own individual goals for the week and so we’re working towards those.”
Taylor says the grin on her son’s face is worth the hard work instructors are putting in. “Every now and then he’ll glance back at me and kind of smile like ‘Momma did you see?’ yea he’s having fun.”
After the camp is over, it’s not about how far they can paddle, it’s about their confidence. Robin Andrepont, education coordinator at Down Syndrome Association of Acadiana, “I think it’s very empowering giving them confidence that they can participate in activities with their friends and be included.”
On Friday each swimmer will get an award for completing the camp. Tuesday April 16, is the last day to get into a session. To register call 337-234-3109 or click here.