Fry's Spring Program Helps Underprivileged Swimmers

By: Nate Sulham Email
By: Nate Sulham Email

Hussein and Said Osman are like any pair of brothers, enjoying a hot summer day in the pool. But less than a decade ago, the water is the "last" place you'd find these two.

Hussein and Said left Kenya in 2004 with their family and came to Charlottesville with little to no swimming experience. They found their way to Fry's Spring Beach Club and were welcomed into the club's scholarship program which teaches kids, many from other countries, how to swim. An opportunity they otherwise might not have.

"Since it started eight years ago we have 15-20 local children who started off being very scared of the water, but over time have become quite proficient swimmers."

And the Osman’s are two examples of that progression.

"Like I used to hold onto the wall every time we swam, now I’m good at it."

"The first time I came into the pool I used to drown a lot and our coach David Chambers he saved me. And then I got used to the water and I started swimming a lot and all that and I started liking it."

Now the two are part of the Fry's Springs Dolphins swim team of the Jefferson swim league. Chambers has been a coach at Fry's Spring the last three seasons and marvels at the transformation Hussein, Said and other scholarship swimmers have made.

"It's quite surprising seeing a kid who's afraid to go over his head from one season being at the pool to being comfortable swimming across the pool without any assistance. It's really cool to see."

"When I first started swimming, it took me a minute to go all the way down to the whole 50. But now it takes me 31 seconds. I'm good at it."

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