Swim instructors earn new certification

Times Observer photo by Lorri Drumm Tom Harrington and Caroline Check, certified Swim Angelfish instructors at the Warren YMCA, hold some of the adaptive equipment used in their classes. Swim Angelfish is an adaptive swim program designed to meet sensory and motor needs of individuals who face various challenges.

Some instructors at the Warren YMCA recently spent some time hitting the books in order to help more people safely take a dip.

YMCA Champion Swim instructors Caroline Check and Tom Harrington earned their Swim Angelfish certification in August. Swim Angelfish is an adaptive swim curriculum that teaches instructors how to recognize a variety of challenges and use a toolbox of strategies and techniques to overcome them. It can help swimmers of all abilities learn to swim faster and with less discomfort.

Harrington said the classes provided great ideas and were very helpful. In putting those ideas to use in the pool, he said it’s important to remember that “every individual is different.”

Check agreed and added that they “figure out what tools to use” for each individual in each situation.

The training Check and Harrington took part in was provided through a grant from the Edith L. Trees Charitable Trust through the PNC Foundation, according to Kimberly Slocum, YMCA youth and family coordinator and marketing coordinator. The program is offered free to the community to utilize for family members with autism spectrum disorder and who face other challenges in learning to swim.

The program is open to anyone with physical challenges or emotional limitations, Slocum said. “We’d like to open it up to more people,” Check said. “Anyone who has difficulties that prevent them from being able to take part in a group swim lesson.”

For more information about Champion Swim or Swim Angelfish call the YMCA at 726-0110.