iCan Swim Camp to host 20 swimmers

Terry RogersCulture, Headlines, Milford Headline Story

Twenty swimmers will gain water safety and swimming instruction at the iCan Swim program this summer

Down Syndrome of Delaware will hold their first iCan Swim camp for individuals with Down Syndrome. This program is part of iCan Shine, a nonprofit organization that provides quality recreational programs for individuals with disabilities. Attendees will learn how to swim as well as other water safety skills.

“We have invited 20 swimmers with Down Syndrome that are ages three and older,” Mary Sweeney of the Downs Syndrome Association said. “We quickly sold out of the spots which were $150 each. This cost was significantly reduced through the partnership of our many supporters. We also offer scholarships to swimmers who may need additional financial assistance.”

The iCan Swim program will take place at the John C. Charlton School, 278 Sorghum Mill Road, in Camden Wyoming from July 22 through 26. The camp coordinator is Jess Walls.

“The goal of this program is to help people achieve aquatic goals and learn valuable water safety skills during the weeklong program,” Sweeney said. “We take the safety of our participants very seriously which is why we have a paid, certified lifeguard on site at all times. There is also a 1:1 ratio of volunteers to participants.”

Statistics from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia indicate that roughly 18 percent of children with Down’s Syndrome also have a diagnosis of autism. For those with this double diagnosis, they are at double the risk of drowning than the average child. Even those who do not have the double diagnosis may have a higher risk of drowning as they may have difficulty blowing out air while underwater.

“We know that formal swimming lessons are not only essential to keep Down’s Syndrome children safe, but they are also a lot of fun,” Sweeney said. “Not only does research indicate that swimming lessons keep children safe, but they also improve strength, coordination, body awareness and building confidence.”

Down Syndrome of Delaware’s mission is to support families, promote community involvement and encourage a lifetime of opportunities for people with Down Syndrome. For more information, visit DSADelaware.org or find them on Facebook.

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