The Spirit Orcas are a group of open water swimmers living with intellectual disabilities and who swim across waterways throughout the province. Over the past 6 years they have established themselves as experienced open water swimmers by completing:
- a 30km relay across Lake Cowichan,
- becoming the first known group of people to swim a 20km relay near Bella Bella in British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest and
- raising over $7,000 for COVID relief by swimming the Great Big Swim; an 80km staged swim aroundVictoria’s peninsula.
- two members of the Spirit Orcas have completed a 21km solo swim and 3 others 10 km ocean swims.
As qualified leaders in the sport of open water swimming, the ideal next step for this group of incredible athletes is to have the opportunity to mentor and coach others. SwimGift: Swimming with Spirit Orcas creates leadership opportunities for people with disabilities and changes our perception around what they are capable of.
Working with Coach Susan Simmons, the Spirit Orcas swim with and coach adults who are interested in open water swimming. The club meets two times per week at Crystal Pool in Victoria throughout the winter. In the spring and summer they move to the lakes and ocean.
Swimming with Spirit Orcas takes the bold step of integrating and including those without disabilities into the world of those with disabilities rather than the other way around. This approach to inclusion embraces, honors and values people with disability by welcoming others into their tent.
Pop me a note at info @ susansimmons.ca if you are interested in the program.