Adrian Kuchtaruk - 15 November, 2017
Today I would like to take the time to talk about a not-for-profit organization that is very near and dear to my heart. This organization is SwimAbility Canada, which is the parent organization to over 16 University chapters across Canada. SwimAbility’s mission is fairly simple, in that it is to “provide accessible one-on-one swimming instruction to children with special needs”. However, this truly does not encompass everything that this organization does for families across Canada. In my eyes, there are two underlying objectives that correlate with the mission statement. After I learned more about the organization, I discovered the stats related to children with special needs and swimming proficiency. I discovered that swimming is the second leading cause of injury related death in children, and that disabled children are a further ten times likelier to suffer from a submersion injury than the general population. SwimAbility recognizes this and builds on the strengths and successes of existing swimming lesson organizations while specifically adapting their lessons to children at the highest risk of drowning in our society.
I believe the other significant part of this organization is providing families with a little time each week to be able to see their child having fun in the water, and socially engaging with the other students, as well as forming a bond with their instructor. I have been fortunate to have been a volunteer instructor with this organization for three years now, and I am inspired each and every lesson as I see the improvements these children make every day, not only in their swimming abilities, but in their engagement with their instructors.
With over 800 volunteers and 16 chapters in Canada, SwimAbility is continuing to grow. The instructors with SwimAbility volunteer their time to help these families and expect nothing in return. By giving their time to help teach swimming and essential life skills to these children, volunteers are able to make a significant impact on the lives of the families and children that have been a part of SwimAbility and it continues to inspire me.
I have attached the website link if you would like to learn more about SwimAbility or would like to get involved, as well as a video that the SwimAbility Sudbury Chapter created to showcase a day with SwimAbility.