Disabled student learns to swim through club

Alexa Roth // Contributing Writer

Poseidon’s Panthers, a swim club founded in the fall of 2014, gives students an opportunity to swim with others and learn basic techniques, or perfect existing ones.

One student in Poseidon’s group, Daniela Salinas, lost her vision due to a condition called Leber Congenital Amaurosis, which is an inherited retinal degenerative disease characterized by severe loss of vision at birth. Salinas joined Poseidon’s Panthers about a month and a half ago to have some summer fun and stay in great shape.

Salinas says she loves the music that they play during the sessions and how much she has learned in the club.

“It’s not as easy to teach her new things as it would be to coach someone without a disability,” Her coach, Ibrahim Sultan, said. “The way I teach her, is by having her put her arms on mine so she can get a sense of the motions.”

Sultan says he learned that someone who is blind can swim just as well as someone who can see. Most people wouldn’t imagine someone with no vision to swim; however, Salinas has proven them wrong.

She has gained so much from this club and has made numerous strides since joining. She says she has mastered her dolphin kick and her freestyle, something she couldn’t do before joining the club.

“She does a lot more than the basics and can even do laps, she is doing very well,” Sultan said.

Sultan says he has also learned a lot about what it’s like teaching someone with a disability such as Salinas’.

“Having her join made me less nervous to teach people with disabilities, which made me a better coach,” Sultan said. “People in the club know her and admire what she does, and it has definitely made us more diverse and has been a learning experience for all of us.”

This swim club runs through the summer and is free to all students.

Photo by Alexa Roth

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