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Posts Tagged ‘Victor Calise’

Paralympic Sport Day, Oct. 1st – Come Amaze or Be Amazed! Registration Now Open

September 23, 2011 2 comments

More Free Accessible Sports Brought To You By The NYC Parks Dept – There Is Still Time To Join This Summer!

I’m taking James to his first day of adaptive swim lessons tomorrow (see The Murky Waters) – we’ve decided to stay in the familiar waters of Highbridge Pool, uptown. I had planned on taking him to both the Tuesday and Thursday lessons until I started reading about some of the other special needs sports programs offered by the NYC Parks department.

Many thanks to Victor Calise, the NYC Parks Accessibility Coordinator, who has generously and patiently provided me with the information below (while also fielding my numerous emails regarding adaptive swim lessons).

Adaptive Tennis

Prospect Park has an adaptive tennis program for all disabilities and runs from October-May, you can call them at 718.436.2500.

The USTA has adaptive tennis for people with physical disabilities that runs about the same time.

Adaptive Track & Field

There is an adaptive track & field program for kids ages 5-16 with physical disabilities, offered in two locations. In Manhattan practice takes place at Thomas Jefferson Park on Tuesday and Thursdays, and in the Bronx at Pelham Bay Park on Monday and Wednesdays. Both parks start the week of July 11th – just show up and register on site. Ages 5-7 meet 9:30-10:30 and ages 8-16 meet from 10:30-noon. All equipment is provided. And, it’s free! Please click  http://www.cityparksfoundation.org/pdfs/cityparks_Trackbrochure.pdf for more information.

So now I need to decide whether to take James to swimming two days a week or use one of those days to try the Track & Field program this summer. I want to push swimming since he has finally started putting his head underwater but would also like for him to try something new.

In any case, I’ll be all set if this is my biggest problem this summer.

The Murky Waters of Free Adaptive Swimming Lessons, Courtesy of the NYC Parks Dept. (2011)

***Please check back often for updates – last updated July 6th, 2011.***

After over a dozen phone calls and emails since March, I have finally begun to unravel the mystery of the 2011 Adaptive Swim schedule in NYC, a free program offered by the NYC Parks Department each summer. Though I am feeling a little cranky and more than a little critical of how disorganized they have been this year, I will be the first to say that we had a fantastic experience with their adaptive swim lessons during the Summer of 2009 and are excited to participate again. James was given two days a week of free, private swimming lessons and went from “screaming and terrified to put his feet in the water” to “up to his neck and happy about it.” We are hoping to build on that even more this Summer. The instructors were young, experienced and energetic, making it well worth the lengthy trip (45 minutes) to the pool every other morning. As many of you know, private swim lessons for special needs people can cost $60 or more per hour – makes me want to go into the business. These were FREE, no strings attached.

It is for these reasons that I am (reasonably) happy to provide you with the (not-100%-but-hopefully-pretty-certain) information available about NYC Parks Adaptive Swim Lessons (most current updates listed below). I am grateful to Victor Calise of the NYC Parks Department for sending me the information below about free lessons in all five boroughs.

You must call Citywide Aquatics at 718-760-6969, ext. 0 to register. Update on July 5: After spending 45 very frustrating minutes on hold with 3 different people, we are still not registered. I am looking into this and will keep you posted if I can figure out an easier way. **On July 6th, I was informed that we simply had to show up tomorrow a little early. So, that is the current plan.

If you know of other pools in the NYC area that are offering free adaptive lessons, please leave the information in the Comments section below or email me. If you have questions, feel free to email me or call the Parks Department at 718-760-6969.