Senior swim season kicks off with pool party in Harlem
On Mon., July 9th, First Deputy Commissioner for NYC Parks and Recreation Liam Kavanagh joined Department for the Aging Commissioner Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Member Jessica Lappin, and the Senior Vice President for Policy and Planning at The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) Ruth Finkelstein to announce the launch of designated Senior Swim hours at 14 public pools citywide – a citywide expansion from the original pilot program of seven pools.
The pool party was held at Thomas Jefferson Park Pool on 112th Street and First Avenue.
Senior Swim hours are intended to offer adults a stress-free, quieter time to socialize, swim, stretch, and enjoy the benefits of water in NYC Parks’ outdoor pools.
The program runs through August 24, and is open to those over the age of 62.
The Harlem Honey and Bears Swim Club, a synchronized swimming group for adults 50 and older, kicked off the Senior Swim with a synchronized performance.
“NYC Parks’ mission is to enable all New Yorkers to lead physically active lives through sports, fitness and outdoor adventure,” said Parks’ Assistant Commissioner for Public Programs, Annika Holder. “Expanding the Senior Swim program to 14 outdoor pools this summer allows us to further realize this mission. Whether it’s swimming laps or just taking a dip, older adults now have dedicated hours and programming to enjoy NYC Parks’ outdoor pools.”
“We are delighted that an idea coming from seniors in East Harlem as part of the Age-friendly NYC initiative is spreading city-wide, thanks to the leadership of Mayor Bloomberg and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe,” said Jo Ivey Boufford, MD, President of The New York Academy of Medicine. “Providing dedicated swim hours for older adults is one of several creative and low-cost efforts to make New York an age-friendly city by providing older adults with more opportunities to exercise and increase social engagement in their communities, both of which are critical to active and healthy living.”
“I am always proud when our community of El Barrio/East Harlem can serve as a laboratory for successful, innovative initiatives like this one,” said Council Member Mark-Viverito. “We were the first to launch an Age Improvement District with the New York Academy of Medicine and the first to offer dedicated hours at our public pool for seniors. It is truly wonderful to see these senior pool hours being offered across the five boroughs this year. I thank Commissioner Benepe and the Parks Department for expanding this program citywide, as well as all of our local partners who are helping to make our community a healthier and more livable place to grow old.”
The event is part of Age Friendly NYC, New York City’s plan to sustain and enhance its age-friendliness for its growing population of seniors, led by the Office of the Mayor, the New York City Council, and NYAM. Age Friendly NYC is a series of 59 initiatives aimed at making New York a more livable City for its growing senior population.
For more information on Senior Swim, please visit www.nyc.gov/parks.