Apart from being one of the most complete sports, swimming is fun, relaxing and helpful as a therapy for correcting many health concerns. Different medical specialists recommend swimming as a treatment for asthma, sore muscles and joints, hernias, stress, obesity and many other diseases.
“Ability not Disability” is a swimming program for kids with special needs that is sponsored by “Devilray Swim Club”, a non-profit organization founded in 2005 by trainers Yand Martinez and Earnest Johnson in Goulds Park.
These classes are therapeutic and recreation exercises for kids with Down’s syndrome, autism, and physical, visual and hearing impediments. Kids with learning disabilities are also welcome in the program. This program is designed to improve strength, flexibility and movement. These kids also get involved in the competitive program “Special Olympic” which involves different areas in the State of Florida and the United States.
“Devilray Swim” also collaborates with swimming lessons at the special kids foundation “Ventanas en el Cielo” (Windows in the Sky) sponsored by the famous interpreter Ricardo Montaner. This foundation is focused on therapy services and entertainment.
The relationship between “Devilray Swim” and “Ventanas en el cielo” is possible because the swim club’s motto is “every kid should learn how to swim and swim well.” “The biggest motivation of this program was the large number of kids who die in the State of Florida because they don’t know how to swim”, said Yand Martinez. “When we look at these numbers, we realized that these were high numbers especially among low-income families and minorities, so we decided to offer a teaching program where kids would learn how to swim. At the same time, we are preventing these kids from drowning and helping our community.”
The biggest goal is to offer community kids, teenagers, and adults a program that they can afford and exposes them to different levels of swimming. Apart from creating the habit of swimming, the club motivates teenagers to develop physical abilities that will yield important results later such as a participating in the Florida Gold Coast Swimming and national and international championships.
The program is divided by ages and level of ability. “We want to implement a program for low-income young people: We would like to start the Swimming for Jenny and Make a Splash programs by the USA Swimming foundation”, said Martinez.
He also talked about his interest in involving local businesses so that they can donate money to
a fund to sponsor low-income or minority kids interested in swimming.
The club also offers Paralympic and military Paralympic programs. The swimmers involved in these programs hold more than 30 national, international, continental and world records. This hard work has placed these swimmers in the Paralympic world and national elite.
“We recommend this program because swimming is the only sport that can save a child’s life. Also, swimming is considered the most complete sport and is also a great therapy for people who have heart disease and respiratory issues. It’s a sport where young people can socialize in a healthy environment far from vices and it creates a healthy competitive spirit. This program is available to all the community. And we offer swimming lessons to all-level kids in the Homestead and Cutler Bay area.
This program helps kids, teens and people in the military who have physical disabilities so that they can go back to society, teaching them they can have a normal life, no matter what their physical disability is”, said Martinez.
The swimming lessons are year-round and take place in Goulds Park and Roby George Park in Homestead. If you want to sign up or want more information you can call Devilray Swim Club at 786-326-7804 or 305-300-1270 or send an email to email@example.com or visit the website www.devilrayswimclub.com