NEW: Young Athletes IM Program

December 30, 2013

In partnership with the Michael Phelps Foundation, Special Olympics now has an aquatics program for our littlest athletes! The new Young Athletes IM Program provides family members and instructors with activities to introduce Young Athletes to water while helping them feel comfortable, confident, and safe.

Goals of the program:

  • Create a safe and fun learning environment in the water.
  • Establish trust between the adult and teacher, the parent and child, and the child and teacher.
  • Introduce fundamental swimming skills to infants through toddlers in an age and developmentally appropriate manner.
  • Encourage swimmer skill development by introducing the supervising adults to specific holds and activities.

Michael Phelps first became involved with Special Olympics when he served as an Ambassador for the 2007 World Summer Games in Shanghai. As part of his role, he held a swimming clinic, visited multiple schools to speak with children, and participated in a fan run show to help promote Special Olympics, raise awareness, and change prejudices about people with intellectual disabilities.

As the Official Swimming Training Program for Special Olympics, through the IM Program the Michael Phelps Foundation offers a multi-faceted line-up of water safety lessons, recreational aquatic activities, organized swimming, as well as health, wellness and goal setting instruction at a world-class level

Special Olympics Wisconsin is now offering this new program in partnership with New London Aquatics and Fitness Center. To learn how to bring a Young Athletes IM Program to your community, please contact Krysten Kirsch.

For more information on the partnership with Michael Phelps or the sport of Aquatics, please visit


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