Customized Aquatic Programs for Anyone with a Disability
About Aqua Abilities

Hi, my name is Cathy Sim and I'm a mother of three awesome kids. I started helping people with disabilities when I was 12 years old. I became a volunteer for a Brownie Pack who's Brown Owl was blind. Looking back, I can say she became my Mentor.

As a young girl, I became a member of the Vernon Girls Trumpet Band. When I retired as a Band Girl, I volunteered for many years as a drum and drill instructor, where I taught a deaf girl to march and play a field drum!

When I finished high school, I took an Aqua Percept Workshop and worked for the local Boys & Girls Club.

I've always had a soft spot in my heart for people with disabilities. When I was 24, I started working with a young fellow who introduced me to the world of Autism.

The City of Vernon hired me to teach Aqua Percept, later I became a Red Cross Swimming Instructor and a certified Lifeguard (N.L.S.). A few years later, I was coordinating the Aqua Percept Program and an Adapted Aquatic Instructor Trainer for the City.

My daughter wanted to be a Cub, so we joined together. I've been a Cub Scout Leader for 5 years now. I've been working on a program for the local Scouting movement. For leaders to have a better understanding about children with disabilities. This will help them be more successful with the program that Scouts Canada offers.

As a lifeguard I really enjoyed helping Vernon's Special Olympic Swim Team. Now that I'm a coach, I discovered that a lot of the kids I worked with years ago, are on my team!!

After 22 years of Lifeguarding and instructing, I realized that the water is a powerful tool. It can help those who are unable to safely experience a sense of freedom and independence, when in the water. By incorporating my aquatic background, Red Cross swimming lessons and the philosophy of the Aqua Percept program, "The Aqua Abilities Approach" was born.

Aqua Abilities is a fun, safe interactive adapted aquatics program, designed for anyone who swims with people who have disabilities. By using alternative methods like thinking "outside the box", I feel we can take the "dis" out of disabilities and help them to be "able" to try new things and have a wonderful water experience.

~Cathy Sim~

Adapted Aquatic Programs Consultant & Facilitator
Vernon, B.C.
"Miracles in the Water"
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