Report on Adapted Swimming Workshop

Pamela Starke-Reed and Don Riedlinger, PVS Adapted Swimming Co-Chairs, along with Beth Scott, a member of the USA-S Adapted Swimming Committee, attended the USA-S Adapted Swimming workshop January 23-25, 2004 in Colorado Springs. The workshop was well attended with 58 participants representing 40 LSCs. The attendees included all constituents of the adapted swimming community: athletes, coaches, officials and parents.

A principal objective of the workshop was "Communication" - educating the participants on the latest viewpoints and various resources that are available to solve problems that might arise with Adapted Swimming at the LSC level. In that regard, an LSC liaison list was distributed whereby members of the USA-S Adapted Committee will serve as principal mentors to each LSC. Potomac Valley is fortunate that our mentor is Mary Kramer from Arizona. Mary works professionally in the Special Education field and was one of the forces in creating a separate Disability Championship for USA-S. She has also served as Meet Referee and as Chief Judge at these Championships.

One outcome from the workshop is that the Adapted Swimming Committee is going to develop a list of athletes, coaches and parents who are willing to mentor other coaches, parents and athletes experiencing a similar disability, so that successful approaches can be shared, rather than acquired each time individually through trial and error. Another outcome is a project to update the Safety Manual with various issues dealing with the disabled community. And another project is a proposal to work with the Camps Committee to develop a Disability Swim Camp, aiming toward 2005.

It was also announced that to preclude any records set at the upcoming Disability Championships from not being recognized by the International Paralympic Committee, the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and USA Swimming have reached an agreement on conducting the 2004 U.S. Paralympic Swimming Trials. U.S. Paralympics, a division of the USOC, will host the event at the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis, April 22-24, 2004. USA Swimming will conduct meet operations for the event. The Paralympic Trials will also serve as the USA Swimming Disability Championships. Non-Paralympic events and events for deaf and cognitively impaired swimmers will be held integrated throughout the Trials competition. [The IPC is the international representative organization of elite sports for athletes with disabilities. So while USA-S is the National Governing Body for able-bodied swimming recognized by FINA, US Paralympics is the similar NGB organization recognized by the IPC].