Courtesy of Brandon Franklin, Vice Chair USMS Swimming Saves Lives Foundation
Did you know that more than a third of adults in the United States cannot swim the length of a pool? Did you also know that the likelihood of a child learning to swim is significantly reduced if their parents don’t know how to swim?
With 10 people drowning every day in this country and drowning being the second leading cause of unintentional death for children under the age of 14, U.S. Masters Swimming is on the front lines to reduce these statistics.
On April 1st, USMS kicks off its annual April is Adult Learn-to-Swim Month campaign. In place since 2014, the campaign goal is to encourage USMS clubs and certified adult learn-to-swim instructors to offer swim lessons in April – making swim lessons more available to more adults. Many of these April lessons are free or at a greatly reduced cost for participants, supported by grants from the organization’s charitable arm, the USMS Swimming Saves Lives Foundation.
The benefit of learning to swim goes beyond the adult taking lessons.
“The ripple effect of adult swim lessons is very real,” said U.S. Masters Swimming Chief Operating Officer Bill Brenner. “Adults who swim are more likely to sign up their children for lessons, too. So adult swim lessons can result in whole families becoming safer around the water.”
USMS has shared many positive stories from their grant programs over the years which caught the attention of the social media giant, Facebook last year. Facebook was sufficiently impressed to send a crew out to one of the grant programs and produced this short video which was posted on the central Facebook page.
Since 2012, the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation has awarded more than $550,000 to programs across the country. In 2019, $132,500 was granted to 69 programs. The Foundation is funded through voluntary contributions from the more than 60,000 USMS members and others. The annual April is Adult Learn-to-Swim Month awareness campaign is a project of the Foundation.
A list of programs which are participating in the campaign and offering lessons is available here. If you have a program that is not listed or would like to inquire about starting a program or becoming an instructor, please contact the USMS National Office at [email protected].
Learn more about Swimming Saves Lives here.
Like Swimming Saves Lives on Facebook here.