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Jun 29, 2007

Y.M.C.A. teaches water skills for a lifetime

Story PictureThe two organisations are similar in name and purpose and both do great work in Belize. Last week we looked at what the Y.W.C.A. is doing in the way of summer activities and today we’ll check in on the Y.M.C.A.

Jacqueline Godwin, Reporting
Sandy Liming has worked with the Young Men’s Christian Association in the United States for the last eighteen years; most of that time teaching young people how to swim. But for the past week Sandy has been in Belize preparing local volunteers for the Y.M.C.A.’s summer water activities. The programme, open to children of all ages, is considered one of the most disciplined and professional programme of its kind.

Sandy Liming, YMCA Director/Professional Swim Instructor
“Apparent should see a marked improvement in the child’s proficiency of their stroke and their knowledge of pool safety, water safety, pool rules, and they should have learned to have fun or learn skills that enable them to have more fun in the water.”

“We also incorporate synchronised swimming and water sports and games. So they will be playing wet ball, they’ll be doing some synchronised swimming. Those things look like fun to us, but a child’s work is play. So, even when they are doing synchronised swimming, floating on their backs they are floating. When they learn to do rolls they are learning breath control.”

The first session in the three week swim programme gets underway on July Second. The Y.M.C.A. volunteers say the training has been intense, but important for their students’ success.

Brianna Gill, Volunteer, Y.M.C.A.
“I think that swimming is a life saving skill that everybody should know because you never really know when you need it and it can come in quite handy at any given moment in life. So I think children should learn how to swim because even when parents are around they might need it.”

Christopher Coombs, Volunteer, Y.M.C.A.
“We make everyone a big family while we are swimming, so they feel comfortable knowing that they are safe; that is what we need. We need them to feel safe so they can build up their confidence and learn how to swim easier.”

Sandy Liming
“What they are going to do in the water right now is make sure that all of their individual techniques are proficient and there will be several people on the deck that will be critiquing those. So those students are learning how to critique, how to watch a student swim. They have all learned the development of every stroke.”

What makes the Y.M.C.A. programme unique is that is involves a wide range of activities spread out across the entire day.

Aesha Garel, Volunteer, Y.M.C.A.
“Well Y.M.C.A. first of all deals with mind, spirit and body. We incorporate all of them to teach the children.”

Brianna Gill
“Basically last year I had a blast. I enjoyed the positive environment that is promoted by Y.M.C.A., so I decided that I will come back this year. And generally I just love being a around the kids. There are just so many personalities that you can see; it’s amazing.”

The swim classes will be conducted in the pool at the Princess Hotel where a total of twenty-three volunteers and lifeguards will be involved.

If you are interested in having your child participate in any of the Y.M.C.A.’s summer activities please call their office at 222-5497 or 222-5526.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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