Tidal Waves is a volunteer organization run by students at McMaster University. We provide affordable swimming lessons to those with a range of physical and intellectual disabilities in a safe and fun environment. Each swimmer who is part of the program is assigned with a personal instructor, qualified as a Nationally Certified Lifeguard. Over a course of a session the instructor will help the adult achieve their swimming goals.
Our mission is to provide affordable and accessible one-on-one swimming instruction to adults with special needs. We strive to ensure that the lessons are enjoyable, safe and most importantly, beneficial for the swimmers.
Why We Exist
Tidal Waves as an organization fulfills a necessary role in our community. A 2013 study conducted by the International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education found that one in every fifty individuals is born with a physical or intellectual disability which will potentially modify his or her life. There is a potential of increased risks of drowning if children born with a physical or intellectual disability participate in such water sports. Although these risks are potential, they need to be realized by members of the community (Journal of Aquatics, 2013).
Often times, conventional group lessons provided at community centres and city pools do not meet the needs effectively for individuals with disabilities. Therefore, we feel the need to provide swimming lessons specifically made for these swimmers to ensure that they have an appropriate environment to learn swimming skills.
Furthermore, many families or individuals with disabilities do not necessarily have the means to get access to tailored swimming lessons at an affordable rate, which highlights the importance of our club. Ultimately, the goal for Tidal Waves Hamilton is for it to be well recognized in the McMaster & Hamilton community for being able to successfully ensure aquatic safety for adults with disabilities, via tailored 1-to-1 swim lessons, in an affordable manner.
Tidal Waves attempts to provide lessons that are not only exciting and informative, but also affordable. We are able to maintain safety during our sessions by providing 1 on 1 lessons so the instructors maintain their full attention on one swimmer. We recruit our volunteers from the abundance of university-aged, qualified swimming instructors and work with our community partners to properly train, educate and prepare them for the rigours of working with special-needs children.