In 2003, Beth Scruggs started teaching swim lessons to a local team looking to compete in Special Olympics swim meets. They chose the dolphin as their mascot, purple as their team color, and eventually became the Nashville Dolphins. Through the help of the Vanderbilt Special Education program, friends, and Nashville Dolphins families, the team was able to operate utilizing all volunteer coaches and instructors.

Fast forward to today and the Nashville Dolphins is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, has two swim lesson levels in addition to the competitive swim team and  over 200 participants.  


The Nashville Dolphins now swim in 6 pools in the greater Nashville area. There is no age-out policy or graduation, and all services are completely free of charge. The organization is growing rapidly. The program is motivated to teach swimming to as many people with disabilities as possible, knowing that drowning is a leading cause of accidental death in the special needs community. The Nashville Dolphins hope to continue expanding in order to serve all those on the wait list and beyond.

Beth began a program that is invaluable and unique to Nashville. She continues to volunteer and serve on the Board of Directors.  Her focused leadership over the past 16 years has produced a vibrant and sustainable organization which serves some wonderful people. She is truly a Hometown Hero!


To learn more about the Nashville Dolphins visit

Categories: People