Active Life Orthotics and Prosthetics, along with its sister company
Aqua Life Wellness Center, hosted two adaptive aquatic programs for those with
physical challenges at their facilities in Albuquerque, N.M.
First Swim and First Dive Intro to Scuba were offered to
Active Life patients and anyone within the community who wanted the chance to
“feel the freedom” that water activities offer to people with
disabilities. Jeff Schwarz, CP, Active Life practitioner, was instrumental in
every aspect of the event, including securing and welcoming those who attended.
Fourteen participants tried adaptive swimming and/or scuba in the 4-hour event.
First Swim was led by three-time Paralympic swim
champion, Jason Wening, CPO. Wening won five gold medals in the Paralympic
games in Atlanta, Sydney, and Barcelona. He still holds one world Paralympic
record in distance swimming. Wening is also a bilateral below-knee amputee who
offered practical suggestions and tips to the amputee attendees. He and
volunteers then spent time individually and in groups working on specific needs
of the individual swimmers.
Swimmers then transitioned to snorkel and scuba with the
help of the staff at New Mexico Scuba Center, located in Albuquerque. Stacey
Minton, owner of New Mexico Scuba, and her volunteers began with snorkels,
masks and fins for everyone and then began outfitting everyone with scuba
equipment and giving them the chance to experience breathing under water.
“It was great to see the participants have fun and
smile and do things they have never done before,” Deane Doty, CPO, Active
Life practitioner, said in a press release. “The kids were great to watch
swim for the first time. The instructors were excellent and provided
confidence. The staff of OPAF (Orthotic & Prosthetic Assistance Fund) ran a
For more information on OPAF and The First Clinics and
the opportunities with adaptive recreational clinics, please contact the OPAF
office at 319-235-4318 or firstname.lastname@example.org.