New Windsor, NY – on February 22, 2015, over 100 people from toddlers to grandparents, attended the Hudson Valley Bluefish (“HVB”) Community Day at the Community Avenue Fitness Center, said HVB Aquatics Director Coach Ed Kennedy. Both Coach Kennedy and Coach Leif Stepakoff, the original founders of the Bluefish, a team founded 20 years ago, were on hand to coach the free Swim Clinic.

“There are two components to the Hudson Valley Bluefish,” said Coach Kennedy, “a free Water Confidence Clinic and a low cost swim club which emphasizes water safety, water fun, and refining the four swim strokes, so as to get kids ready for a competitive swim team. We also train our swimmers to take the American Red Cross Lifeguard test,” said Coach Kennedy.

“I had so much fun today,” said swimmer Fabrizio Rimac. “I can’t wait to come back and swim again.” The Bluefish, open to youths ages 5 – 17, meet every Tuesday from 8:15 pm – 9 pm and Sundays from 2:30pm – 3:30 pm at the Union Avenue Community Fitness Center in New Windsor, for a water confidence clinic, lap swimming and stroke refinement. Scholarships are available for underserved youth.

“I would like to thank Coaches Kennedy, Stepakoff, and Maurice, as well as all our volunteer swim helpers and lifeguards,” said Juliana LoBiondo, Director of America Rows and Swims Newburgh (ARSN), which operates and manages the Hudson Valley Bluefish. “It really takes a village to run a community program of this size and we rely on the volunteerism of our head coaches and our experienced swimmers who get in the water and help out, it’s a great way for the kids to get community service hours while truly helping out and having fun. This program is made possible by a grant from the Hudson River Improvement Foundation, fundraising and individual donations.” America Rows and Swims Newburgh is a Local Partner of USA Swimming Foundation, the national governing body of the sport of swimming, and is also an affiliate of AAU Swimming, said Mrs. LoBiondo.

The families also enjoyed healthy snacks, every water participant received a free T-shirt, one lucky swimmer won a $50 Visa gift card by raffle, and ARSN had a set of oars dedicated to it by the Newburgh Rowing Club.

For more information on ARSN or Hudson Valley Bluefish swim club, visit www.RowSwimNewburgh.org or email ARSN Director Juliana LoBiondo at newburghrowers@gmail.com.

Photo 1: Group shot of Hudson Valley Bluefish Community Day

Photo 2: Coach Stepakoff wearing original Hudson Valley Bluefish uniform

Photo 3: Swim Helper Anya Sendelbach with younger sister Katie Sendelbach

Photo 4: Coach Ed Kennedy with winner of $50 Visa giftcard raffle

Photo 5: NRC athletes taking the USRowing swim test

Photo 6: Group shot with Oars dedicated to America Rows and Swims Newburgh

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