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Organization Garners Grants For Its Work With Special Needs Swimmers

Los Angeles, CA – October 4, 2012 – Happy Birthday! Everybody in the pool!

One with the Water, the non-profit swim school dedicated to teaching life-changing swimming skills to kids and adults – many of them with disabilities or special needs – was honored for its mission and achievements on the first anniversary of its founding. The school received a generous grant from the Los Angeles Triathlete Club (LA TRI CLUB) earmarked for 20 special-needs students and at-risk youth. The grant will cover a complete program of one-on-one and small-group swim lessons, taking each child from his or her first steps into the water to developing basic water safety and swimming ability within eight half hour sessions at Palisades High School’s Maggie Gilbert Aquatic Center. Visit

Kenneth Rippetoe, founding Head Coach/Executive Director of One with the Water, was overjoyed by the recognition. “When I look into the eyes of the kids that I teach, I see an explosion of beauty, innocence and curiosity,” he said. “They have a spiritual awareness about them that says, ‘Teach me!’ They may not communicate as the world expects them to, but just look into their eyes and feel their presence. They will see you and they will communicate their desires to explore the world.”

One with the Water has also received national attention. Coach Kenneth was recently featured on PUSH GIRLS, the Sundance Channel’s documentary about wheelchair-bound women, for his work with paraplegic swimmer Mia Schaikewitz. He and his instructors are trained to work with children and adults diagnosed with autism, Asperger’s, ADD, ADHD, sensory integration, anxiety, Down and CHARGE syndrome, auditory processing disorders and dyslexia. One with the Water provides lessons to Service-Disabled Veterans and athletes of the U.S. Paralympics and U.S. Special Olympics as well.

Memberships in the organization are on the rise and the local attention of the LA TRI Club has been powerful. LA TRI Club recently expanded its own focus to include philanthropy, founding the Coast2Coast Swim Challenge to help raise money for under-served and at-risk youth to learn basic water skills that can prevent tragic incidents of childhood drowning. LA TRI Club board member Larry Turkheimer said, “We have stepped forward to give a deserving coach the ability to provide kids the opportunity to swim, exercise, and, most importantly, feel accomplished.”

Grants and donations to One with the Water pay for pool space, insurance, and instruction for kids and families with limited financial means. During California’s budget crisis, many schools lack the financial resources, personnel, and facilities to provide athletic programs or physical therapy for children with special needs. One with the Water aims to fill that need, with specially-trained instructors and a non-profit model of operation with low overhead.

In its first year of operation, One with the Water, a 501(c)(3), has given out $10,685 in scholarships to needy students and changed the lives of 247 swimmers. They offer competitive swim training and year-round swim instruction for children and adults with a wide variety of skill levels, from total beginner to competitive athlete. Parents especially, are always appreciative of the group’s efforts.

One father whose son is on the Autism Spectrum, reported that his son, “really responded to Coach Kenneth Rippetoe, and looks forward to his class more than anything else right now. After the first class, he suddenly looked forward to and enjoyed swimming, as opposed to dreading it. He made huge strides, the biggest he has ever made, working with One with the Water,” said the father proudly.

One with the Water welcomes students of all ages, even the adults who just want to take a healthy break from the stress and over-stimulation in the world today and swim some laps with the best teacher in town.

More information can be found at

Media Inquiries:

323-364-Swim, Swim AT One with the Water DOT org.
Twitter: @1withthewater

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