Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta- Calgary

The Cerebral Palsy Association offers the Little Nemos Swimming Program in the Calgary area. This weekly program is open to children aged 3-10 with any disability, not only cerebral palsy. This program begins with basic swimming skills to encourage participants to feel comfortable in the water. Each week the Little Nemos will practice these skills and continue to build on them. The instructor will modify the lesson to accommodate the needs and abilities of each individual and will guide the parents and/or volunteers to work with the participants at their own pace. The ability to move easily and freely in the water is liberating and exciting for these children. With the assistance of the instructor and volunteers, each child is learning the joys of water and laughing with their peers.

Many children living with a disability find it difficult to take part in physical activity. The Little Nemos Swimming Program shows participants that an active lifestyle is for all. Teaching children healthy habits early in life will set them up to have healthy and happy adult lives.

To learn more visit http://www.cpalberta.com/programs/sports-recreation/calgary-class-schedule#swimming

Twitter: @CPAlberta

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The Confidence to Try #FEELGOODFRIDAY Lukas is a 10-year-old Raptors fan who plays basketball with his local chapter of Special Olympics, but it wasn’t that long ago that he was afraid to join a team. Lukas is an outgoing kid who likes to make friends and has always been very active. But his early experiences in organized physical activity were not positive. One of his biggest challenges with autism is struggling to follow directions in large groups. He was often told he was doing things wrong and even that he would embarrass the team. “These negative comments deflated his confidence, and he became afraid to try new things,” explained his mom Lisa. When he was eight, Lukas took part in the Sports of All Sorts program at the Geneva Centre for Autism. The supportive environment in the Sports of All Sorts program, funded by a GoodLife Kids grant, was a real game-changer for him. Constant encouragement and positive reinforcement gave Lukas a safe space to explore new activities without a fear of being judged. With one-on-one support he played basketball, baseball, tennis, and golf. “We’re so glad to make physical activity a regular part of Lukas’ life and we’ve found ways for him to continue practicing at home,” said Lisa. “We bought a tennis net for the backyard, and now that he’s not afraid, he loves to go to glow-in-the-dark mini-putt with his dad!” As Lukas turned around on the basketball court to wave to his mom, he gave her two big thumbs up and her eyes welled up with tears of joy. “Watching him enjoy himself, I’m overwhelmed with happiness and pride,” she shared. “He has talents! But most of all, he has regained a belief in himself – that he CAN do it – and that is so powerful.”

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