Nashville, TN

Nashville Dolphins combats drowning accidents in people with special needs through free swimming lessons

Lenny Schumacher

NASHVILLE, TN – Nashville Dolphins was established in 2003 when the founder, Beth Scruggs, was committed to assisting a swimmer with Down Syndrome to improve her swimming skills for the Special Olympics.

Showing a significant impact, more than 230 swimmers have joined in the aquatics programming provided by the Nashville Dolphins. From beginners who learn how to blow bubbles to long-distance champions practicing several days per week.

Beth is a Nashville native and a professional swimmer. Beth was the incumbent of the Aquatics Director for Special Olympics Tennessee for 20 years. Not stopping there, she traveled to Shanghai, China as the US Coach for Special Olympics World Games.

Nashville Dolphins aims to address the high number of cases where individuals with special needs drowning while swimming. Nashville Dolphins offers swimming programs for individuals of all ages and abilities. The lead instructors are all certified as “Swim Whisperers” through the Swim Angelfish Adaptive Swim Program. The available programs comprise Future Dolphins, Junior Dolphins, and Dolphin Swim Team.

Future Dolphins is the “learn to swim” program. This program is suitable for those with little to no swimming experience. Participants will have one on one session with instructors and volunteers on basic swim skills and water safety. Every lesson is adjusted to meet the needs of each swimmer.

Participants who can swim but still need improvement to swim 25 yards can join the Junior Dolphins program. In this group, participants will practice stroke and technique, maintain endurance, and follow coaching instructions.

Nashville Dolphin’s Swim Team is structured the same as any other swim team. Swimmers must swim 25 yards independently and follow the instructions from coaches on deck. Nashville Dolphins offers four practices a week to train, improve swimming skills and build endurance. The swimmers in the Dolphin Swim Team compete in Special Olympics locally, regionally, and nationally.

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