HARRISONBURG, Va.—The James Madison swimming and diving team connected with kinesiology professor Dr. Moran and his Project CLIMB program to work with children with disabilities at the Godwin pool for a two-hour session on Nov. 12 and a four-hour session on Nov. 17.
The swimming and diving team worked with Dr. Moran to put on a pool party for participants of Project CLIMB. Each swimmer and diver was matched with a mentee to work with them in the water. The pairs worked on skills including blowing bubbles, floating and kicking with the goal of becoming comfortable in the water.
“I am very grateful to the Swim & Dive Team, Coach Long, Coach Benson and Coach Pedersen for their willingness to make a difference in the lives of our participants,” Dr. Moran said. “The team and JMU Athletics as a whole embody a wonderful sense of community where we are all here to help and support each other and provide opportunities that these families and individuals would not otherwise have.”
Project CLIMB is a program offered by Overcoming Barriers, a physical activity mentoring program for children, adolescents and adults with disabilities. Each child participating in Project CLIMB is paired with a student from JMU’s Adapted Physical Education. Together, the team works to create and implement an individualized program that focuses on developing motor skills.
JMU student-athlete Ashley Clark appreciated the opportunity to work with the group, saying “Swimming is a really beneficial thing for children with special needs because it can help them develop motor skills. Our team enjoys working with these kids because it helps to get them more active and learn a valuable life skill that can help them in the long run.”
Moran added of the contributions of swimming and diving, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for their continued support and helping people throughout our community understand, ANYONE regardless of ability or disability, CAN BE AN ATHLETE!”