Arts & Entertainment

Edison Documentary: ‘Swim Team’ Chronicles Debut of the Jersey Hammerheads

927e19600f69f1b06a46_swim.jpg
Credits: Nicole Chan
45a5ba5c4d5bc37f0024_swim5.jpg
Credits: Nicole Chan
2cf04ab1288089d22463_swim2.jpg
Credits: Nicole Chan
744c31cc44085def66fb_swim32.jpg
Credits: Nicole Chan
927e19600f69f1b06a46_swim.jpg

EDISON, NJ – Filmed on location over the course of a year in Edison, Perth Amboy and other towns in Middlesex County, NJ, “Swim Team” is a feature length documentary film chronicling the debut season of the Jersey Hammerheads, a competitive “Swim Team” made up of children and teens on the autism spectrum.

It's a home grown story with universal themes of coming of age, coping with adversity and finding hope when a community comes together and creates its own solutions.

Participation in sports is a central feature of children's lives but opportunities for autistic kids are limited.

Sign Up for E-News

"As a mother, I was so personally inspired by the “Swim Team” families,” Lara Stolman, producer-director said. “I knew their stories needed to be shared with the world."

“Swim Team” begins with one Edison, New Jersey family circumventing the lack of opportunities for their son by creating their own team. Tapping into an unmet need, within weeks the team is 17 strong.

Edison residents, Mike and Maria McQuay founded the team last year for their son, also named Michael Jr. Michael Jr., who is autistic, had been competing in the Special Olympics for a few years and when he was picked for Team NJ, to represent the state at the national games last year, the McQuay’s decided to start their own team to train him and others like him to compete in Special Olympics competitions and more.

"I got involved with the swimming for Michael, and then it turned into more than that will all the other kids. You're giving kids an opportunity,” Mike McQuay, Jersey Hammerheads coach said. “At one time or another all of our kids have been ostracized and for them to be a part of a team is unbelievable."

Most athletes are Asian and Hispanic boys, underserved in autism intervention and underrepresented in media.

The all-female production team established a trusted relationship with the Jersey Hammerheads families and was granted access to film in their homes, in their schools, at the YMCA where they practice and at the Special Olympics competitions where they competed.

What results is an intimate exploration of the everyday struggles and extraordinary triumphs that families raising children with autism can experience.

“Swim Team” was just named Indiewire's Project of the Month for January. The prize is a creative consultation from our Project of the Month partner, Tribeca Film Institute. "Swim Team" will also be in the running for 2015 Project of the Year.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Edison

Upcoming Events

Tue, January 23, 5:30 PM

Edison

Networking Event @ Seasons 52

Business & Finance

Wed, January 24, 8:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick

The illusionists

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, January 27, 1:00 PM

Unitarian-Universalist Congregation of Washington Crossing, Titusville

Election Reform & Voting Rights

Education Giving Back Government Law & Justice Other

Lower Tuition Under Murphy? Not So Fast, Rutgers Pres. Says

January 22, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Gov. Phil Murphy, following his inauguration last week, ​ticked off a list of lofty goals and​ progressive​ proposals for the state. 

Yet allies and opponents have shown skepticism, or at least questioned, his vision for New Jersey

Rutgers President Robert Barchi made himself no exception, during ​a start-of-the-semester kick-off address at the Rutgers ...

Immaculata’s Tashawn Bower (’13) Heads to NFL Conference Final with Vikings Teammates

January 19, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Just five years removed from an outstanding football career at Immaculata High School, defensive end Tashawn Bower and his Minnesota Vikings teammates are one step away from Super Bowl LII, thanks to what has been dubbed the “Minnesota Miracle.”

It was to be the final play of the game; the Vikings were on the short end of a 24-23 score in last Sunday’s ...

Free Diabetes Self-Management Workshop Series Offered in Edison

January 22, 2018

Are you a person with Medicare living with diabetes or know someone who is? Take control of your health through a free and fun six-week workshop series.

Meet others going through similar experiences and learn about preventing complications, healthy eating, exercise, medication management, dealing with stress and depression, action planning, and much more. Graduates from this program have lost ...