Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

By Lacey Nickell
JCC staff 

Roth JCC helps Seminole County Special Olympic team swim to success


Jonathan Castillo

The Special Olympics Team does their team cheer along with the Roth JCC Aquatics staff after practice.

Beginning in June, the Roth Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando became home of Special Olympic Swimming for Seminole County. Athletes trained and practiced to compete in the State Games every Sunday, from June 1 through Sept. 28. During the Special Olympic swim meets, athletes are held to the same regulations of any swim competition. This means they must demonstrate proper form, legal starts, turns, and finishes.

Lacey Nickell, aquatics supervisor for the JCC, was asked to help coach the team during the summer. "My staff was very helpful and willing to jump in periodically through the summer and volunteer their time and experience," said Nickell.

The state games will be held at the North County Regional Park in Sebastian this weekend, Oct. 3-5, where 15 athletes will compete. In order for athletes to qualify for the State Games, athletes must win first place in an event at the Area Games. Then, names are put into a raffle and drawn for a spot to compete in the State Games. This year, 25 athletes were put in the drawing, while in the past, there were not enough kids to need a raffle.

Head coach Tim Hagan said, "The majority of athletes at the JCC improved due to the high quality coaching."

To learn more about the Special Olympics program at the Roth JCC, contact Lacey Nickell at LaceyN@orlandojcc.org.


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