Harlem's Honeys and Bears is made up of seniors, and Coach Oliver Footé believes it's important to get them into the water.
"We have a lot of them with arthritis," he said in an Associated Press video. "Some of them come here in wheelchairs, but once they get into the water, you could never tell." Members of the club say swimming's the best exercise in the world, and keeps them fit.
The Honeys and Bears is Manhattan's only synchronized swimming group for 50 + adults. People, 85 and 90 years old, arrive at the Hansborough Recreation Center on West 134th Street at 7 o’clock in the morning and stay till noon.
Synchronized swimming demands rigorous adherence to aquatic tasks, so Footé is indefatigable in his instruction and his close survey of each swimmer's form. The coach always keeps in mind the advanced age of the squad, never pushing them too much, thereby risking injury.
Many participants praise the social aspect of the club. It's central to their lives, now that they're not working. Others see the Honeys and Bees as a club that breaks through stereotypical barries: blacks don't swim and don't play ice hocky.
The club's continuous training is spiced up with competitiions at the Empire State Senior Games, in Cortland, NY.