LAKELAND, Fla. — USA Water Ski is helping young girls learn a new sport with their Get on the Water program. About two dozen Polk County girls are being exposed to water skiing.
“It’s been really fun and exhilarating. Even though it’s my first time, it has gotten better for me over these past couple of weeks, because I wasn’t the best,” said Taraji Bell.
Though none of them have done this sport before, they make it look easy. “You have to keep steady, and you have to have balance, a lot of balance,” said Lauren-Dior Young.
“It means a lot to me because not a lot of people get to do this and the fact that I get to do it makes me happy,” said Jayla Azcona.
“We realize that there are a lot of barriers to our sport. You have to have boats, and skis and fuel and all these and a lot of people aren’t able to access all of those,” said Frances Buchanan with USA Water Ski & Wake Sports.
The Get on the Water program includes four clinics being held on Lake Bonny in Lakeland and Lake Silver in Winter Haven.
“They are a faster learner group than others we’ve had. I applaud that. That's really a good sign,” said USA Water Ski instructor, H. Fry.
The goal is by the end of the program, the girls will not only learn a new sport, but gain confidence and support from the local ski community.
“A few weeks ago, a lot of them had never even been in the water and a lot of them didn’t even know how to swim. So, to be able to see them progress over these last few weeks and get out on the water has been something really cool to watch,” Buchanan said.