East Enders floating along nicely

The district volleyball leagues
have received much warranted attention.

However one ongoing initiative that
deserves just as much recognition is the East End swim programme.

Led by the East End Sports
Committee (which falls under the youth committee) the programme has seen some
24 youngsters being taught how to swim.

Lessons have taken place at the
Ocean Frontiers pool every Saturday evening since January. The result has been
many children have become comfortable in the water.

This reporter was at a lesson last
weekend and saw about 22 children happily practising their diving and strokes.

As East End Community Development
officer Delmira Bodden states the programme is a great asset for the children.

“Some of the kids could not swim or
had fears of swimming. Through the programme they gained a lot of confidence
and they’re swimming better. We can clearly see their progress and it makes us
only want to keep the programme going.”

The programme continues tomorrow
and wraps up next Saturday. Through it all members of the community, like
Vernie Water-Harris (who is also head of the district’s sports committee), have
felt upbeat about the district’s future.

“I’m very pleased with the turnout
and progress of the kids. I’ve noticed young ones that were scared of the water
now pushing off the walls and swimming confidently.

“If only we could get more volunteers
to help supervise the kids and help with transportation.”

A key figure in the program is
Ocean Frontiers staff member Samantha Collins. Alongside colleague James Jordan
she has taught the kids swimming lessons throughout.

As the Kentucky native states it’s a joy working
with the youth.

“I’m happy working with the kids
and it’s nice seeing the improvements. It’s great seeing their enthusiasm too.
I work with the 4-13 age group and they are all really happy to be there.

“They show up early every week,
they obey instruction and take turns and they generally enjoy interacting with
one another. I say it’s a good thing for everyone involved.”

Collins, 24, spends her days
helping out at the front desk and on the boats and is already eager to help out
with the next swim program next month.

“I will be involved next time. I’ve
been here a year and a half and those kids make it worthwhile for me. A few
parents do come in and appreciate what we’re doing but the kids are happy to
see me on the street and in the pool and really enjoy taking part.”

Collins also stated she plans to
get involved in the company’s other swim programme, which teaches swimming to
East End primary students at its pool on Monday evenings.

Such enthusiasm has district
residents like Watler-Harris already looking forward to the next youth swim
programme.

“We plan on starting back next
month on April 10 with the Ocean Frontiers instructors. That programme will
most likely run until May 29.

“It will be a little different in
that the lessons will be split up into two sessions: 2-3pm and 3:30-4:30pm on
Saturdays.

“I urge all interested parents to
get in touch with me at 939-8024 or Delmira Bodden at 928-9725.”

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