Today was a chilly afternoon, but it didn’t stop our Snapping Turtles as they were one of the first to see the future site of the pool they will practice in when the new building opens later this year. The Snapping Turtles are the YMCA of Springfield’s special needs swim team and are an extension of the YMCA’s Special Needs Aquatic Program (SNAP).  The Snapping Turtles team give individuals with special needs access to new social interactions in a cohesive team environment, and provides them with an opportunity to compete in Special Olympics.

A group of about eight swimmers and their parents trudged through the mud and rock to get a glimpse of the new eight-lane pool.  Jacob Seelbach, Snapping Turtle swimmer said, “We are so excited about this new pool.  It is going to be bigger than the pool we are in now.” Emily Hergett, Snapping Turtle participant said, “We are so lucky to have such a big place to swim. I will still get to swim with my friends and cheer them on.”

The SNAP swim program is subsidized by the YMCA Strong Kids scholarship fund. This fund also supports SNAP swimmers who want to participate in Special Olympics. Tara Bosaw, Downtown Aquatics Director says, “We are thrilled about the new facility and what it will provide to the community and our Snapping Turtles.  Our kids work so hard and they deserve to have a beautiful facility where they will continue to improve their swimming skills and be great supporters of each other.”