NASSAU 'Nastics soared through its popular summer camp with well over 100 students tumbling and twisting in the gym for as many as nine weeks; but for some, the best was saved for last. Once again Nassau 'Nastics' Seagrapes location closed out its summer session with classes for special needs children.
Coach Muffy Deal was thrilled about hosting these children, who otherwise have little opportunity for fun, recreational activity with their peers. She said "seeing the smiles on their faces makes it all worthwhile."
Lara Davis was instrumental in getting this programme off the ground. "We started the gymnastics summer camp for children with special needs four years ago and it has become an annual event," she said. Her 10-year-old son Luke enjoys the fun and camaraderie at the gym.
He started in the tots programme there when he was just five. "The idea came about in order to provide children with special needs an opportunity to participate in a fun activity with other children while developing their strength and coordination," Davis said.
"Many children with special needs, including my son Luke, find it difficult to socialise with other children and to integrate into mainstream extracurricular activities and, as a result, tend to spend much of their free time at home."
This is Christina Taylor's son Spencer's third year in the programme.
"Spencer enjoys every minute of 'Miss Coach Muffy' gym camp, especially the warm up running, beam and trampoline. During the year Spencer loves to stop by to visit."
Coach Deal "has been a blessing to the children. She is excellent with them and they all love her," said Davis. Spencer's mom expressed her gratitude. "I am truly thankful Nassau 'Nastics provides this opportunity to our kids."
Nassau 'Nastics added this special needs class to its summer camp lineup in 2013. It has now become one of the highlights of the summer programme. The staff looks forward to it as a fun way to end their summer session. "It has been a pleasure to work with these kids. Watching their progression over the years has been so rewarding," coach Deal stated.
Coach Deal has been involved in gymnastics at the Seagrapes gym for over two decades. In addition to the special needs group, classes for tots, pre-schools, recreational gymnasts and also for competitive levels (up to USAG Level 4) are offered there.
Coach Deal adds her expertise working with students in the club's Oakes Field facility when needed, where classes are offered for tots, recreational and competitive gymnasts as well as adults.
Nassau 'Nastics resumes its regular school year schedule of classes at both the Seagrapes and the Oakes Field facilities on Monday, September 4.
The special needs children's class will become part of the year-round offerings of this club.
Nassau 'Nastics is pleased to announce that there will be a Saturday session added to accommodate these special needs children. Inquiries are welcome.