The first fundraising event for AquAbility was a huge success!
130 people came out to support AquAbility at the Wild West Party held at the home of board member Don Oliphant and his wife Judy. It was a beautiful, warm evening. Everyone was decked out in their wild west duds. Down at the tepee, the children had supervised games, nature walks, archery, dinner and s’mores by the campfire. The adults enjoyed a delicious meal catered by Raspberries, and had fun bidding on silent auction items. Derek Agnew, general manager at Zenergy Health Club, was the animated auctioneer for the live auction items.
AquAbility director Karen Morrison wishes to thank all the volunteers and guests who have helped make this fundraiser a success. The funds raised will help us provide therapeutic swimming for the physically challenged and for wounded veterans in our programs throughout the year.
I had a wonderful week in Colorado Springs at the United States Olympic Training Center shadowing our National Paralympic coach, Dave Denniston. I got to know the 16 paralympic athletes who live and train at the center in hopes of making the national team and representing our country at the Paralympics in London.
I learned so much from Dave about coaching. He is the most creative coach I have ever seen, and has a very talented group of swimmers – some have one arm, some one leg, some neither, some cerebral palsy, some spinal cord injuries, and some are blind. I was speechless at their abilities in the water.
I also got to spend quite a few hours in the gym with Amanda Wittenmyer – Strength and Conditioning Coordinator for the USOC. I watched the team during their gym routines and was amazed at their abilities to perform exercises despite their physical challenges. I learned how to adapt exercises in the weight room for all types of different body requirements.
I came home very excited to inject all of the things I learned on this trip into my coaching here at home.
Here is a picture of the team with their coach, Dave Denniston.
Karen Morrison works with local participants to help them learn to swim despite their challenges and reap all the benefits and rewards that learning a new sport affords. Swimming is an activity that can be done independently, and this is a priceless freedom. AquAbility also has plans to work with wounded veterans and paralympian athletes training here in Sun Valley. Zenergy is partnering with AquAbility and sponsors the program by providing the practice facility.
This weekend, May 14 and 15, Zenergy hosts a day pass for $10 benefitting AquAbility. This pass allows use of the gym, pools, squash court, and group fitness or yoga classes. Please come to enjoy some healthy time at Zenergy and help AquAbility carry out this mission.
If you are interested in learning more about AquAbility, or know of someone who might benefit from this program, please contact Karen Morrison at 208-720-6362
Coach Karen will be traveling to the National Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to get some on-deck training from Dave Denniston. Dave is the swim coach for the National Resident Paralympic Team. She will also be attending the Paralympic Leadership Conference while she is there. Stay tuned for updates after the trip which is scheduled for April 26-May 1, 2011.