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Braving the Waters

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Neglected, abondoned or abused kids often don't get to have the kind of childhood experiences that most of us take for granted. Like playing catch, learning how to ride a bike, or learning how to swim.

One sunny day last summer at the Ivywild Pool, the Hays Shelter Home kids were excitedly jumping, swimming, and playing in the water. All but one. “Brian” (name changed for his privacy) stayed on the sidelines and whispered in a staff member’s ear that he didn’t know how to swim and was afraid of the water—even the kiddie pool. Because he couldn’t participate with the other kids, he felt alone and embarrassed.

Hays staff contacted Coach Tony Watt of Streamliner Aquatics, LLC to ask if he would be interested in teaching a terrified twelve-year-old boy to swim.  Coach Tony, a collegiate swimmer and former Olympic water polo team alternate, willingly stepped up to help. Thanks to three weeks of private instruction with Tony, Brian found his confidence in the water and was soon able to do a freestyle stroke the length of the pool and float on his back.

Streamliner Aquatics took it even further and donated a 6-week lesson package for Brian to hone his new skills. Brian was soon proudly demonstrating and sharing his newfound techniques with other residents and staff at the pool.

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