Cooma's Corby sisters inspire community

COOMA sisters Alyssa, Sharni and Darcy Corby are proof the YMCA Swimathon changes lives.

The sisters all have autism. It makes it difficult for the girls to join in many activities that other children take for granted.

But from funds raised in the 2012 YMCA Swimathon, they received swimming lessons at the Cooma Festival Swimming Pool and are now able to have fun and be confident in the water.

When Alyssa, 9, started swimming lessons at the Y she screamed in fear at the thought of going in the pool.

"Now, she's so at ease," her mother Sandra said.

"You wouldn't think she's the same child.

"When you have a child with autism which affects them emotionally, physically and socially and then you see them enjoying something like swimming with all the other kids, it's such a great thing."

"The skills they've learnt have enabled them to be safe, confident and happy in the water."

Alyssa, along with sister Jamieson, eight, who doesn't have autism, are going to swim laps at the YMCA Swimathon 2013 to help out more children living with a disability.

They've appropriately called themselves 'Team Dolphin'.

Centre Manager at YMCA-managed Cooma Festival Pool, Lorraine Alford, is urging the community to Dive In and Help Out so more children like the Corby sisters are given access to vital life-saving swimming lessons.

"It's truly an inspiration that a child who benefitted from last year's funds is now participating in the YMCA Swimathon to help more children," she said.

"If Alyssa and Jamieson can swim on the day, so too can the entire community."

Local YMCA Swimathon Jacob Suthern continues to participate in the national fundraising tally having raised close to $2000.

"Every dollar counts with $15 providing one Learn-to-Swim lesson for a child with a disability," Mrs Alford said.

The YMCA Swimathon 2013 will be held at 25 YMCA pools in NSW, including Cooma Festival Pool, between 10am-11am on Sunday 3 March. Nationally, more than 50 YMCA pools will be taking part, making it Australia's biggest swimming event.

Registrations are free and open at www.ymcaswimathon.org.au or at Cooma Festival Pool.

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