'Get on the Water' program helps young girls build water-skiing skills, self-confidence

Summer is about having fun, and for 10 young girls, it's a time to learn a new sport on the water. USA Water Ski is helping them do just that with its "Get on the Water" program. 

USA Water Ski along with the Cypress Gardens Water Ski Show have partnered to teach a sport to girls who otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity.

"We realize there are a lot of barriers to our sport," said Frances Buchanan from USA Water Ski & Wake Sport. "You have to have a boat. You have to have a life jacket. You have to have skis. So being able to get these girls our here, and maybe we'll have some girls in the Olympics someday."

For some of the girls, this is the first time out on the water, let alone on skis, but once they were able to get up they had a blast getting a taste of the sport.

"Being up on the water," said 11-year-old skier Aulina Gaines. "It felt like basically you were walking on water."

The program is a four-day camp that runs through this month. They're hosting here on Lake Silver in Winter Haven and Lake Bonny in Lakeland. By the end of the program, the hope is that the girls will have mastered some essential water-skiing skills in the sport while also building some self-confidence.

"Giving them the confidence to be able to do whatever they put their minds to," said Buchanan.

Central Florida Water Ski Team is working the program at the Lakeland site. Funding has been made possible with a grant through the Women's Sports Foundation and ESPNW.