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Press Release – LA TRI Club Gives Scholarship Grant To Help 20 Special-Needs Kids Learn To Swim With Non-Profit

LA TRI Club Gives Excellent Gift to Special-Needs Students And At-Risk Youth: Scholarship Grant For Non-Profit ‘One With The Water’ Will Help 20 Needy Kids Learn to Swim This Fall.

LA TRI Club Gives Scholarship Grant To Help 20 Special-Needs Kids Learn to Swim With Non-Profit ‘One With The Water’

Los Angeles, CA –  September 25, 2012 – One with the Water, a new 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 this September, on the first anniversary of its founding, with a generous grant from the Los Angeles Triathlete 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 no water experience to basic water safety and swimming ability – all in about four hours, or eight sessions at Palisades High School’s Maggie Gilbert Aquatic Center.

The 1,800 member, twelve-year-old LA TRI Club has recently expanded its 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. “The LA TRI Club has made an impact on kids all over the southland,” says LA TRI Club board member Larry Turkheimer. “Now, once again, we have stepped forward to help a Coach have the ability to give kids the opportunity to swim, exercise, and most importantly, feel accomplished.”

Turkheimer was inspired to donate to One with the Water when he learned about the impact of budget cuts on special needs students: “I was approached by Coach Kenneth Rippetoe of One with the Water to see if the LA TRI Club and Coast2Coast Swim Challenge would be interested in supporting one of his programs. He told me that Pali High had a program that taught children and several adults with physical and mental disabilities how to swim, but based on budget cutbacks, this program was being eliminated. He told me about some children in the program and how this type of stimulation was helping them mentally and physically, so LA TRI Club stepped up and sponsored the classes.”

Grants and donations to One with the Water pay exclusively for pool space, insurance, and instruction for kids and families with limited financial means. Especially 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 nimble, low-overhead, non-profit model of operation.

One with the Water offers 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. In addition to their national-level competitive swimming skills, One with the Water’s 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 also provides lessons to Service-Disabled Veterans and athletes of the U.S. Paralympics and U.S. Special Olympics. Founder and Head Coach Kenneth Rippetoe was recently featured on the Sundance Channel’s documentary program about wheelchair-bound women, working with paraplegic swimmer Mia Schaikewitz.

In its first year of operation, One with the Water has given out $10,685 in scholarships to needy students and changed the lives of 247 swimmers in total. One father – whose son is on the Autism Spectrum – reported that his son “really responded to [head 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].”

Tax-deductible donations to the “Pay-It-Forward” scholarship program of One with the Water, a 501(c)(3), can be made at the organization’s website:

Media Inquiries:
One with the Water: contact Coach Kenneth at 323.364.Swim
Twitter: @1withthewater

LA TRI Club: contact Larry Turkheimer at (310) 559-0789 or
Twitter: @latriclub


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