Swimming & Diving

Swimming NGBs Issue List of Free Adult Swim Lesson Dates

17 Mar, 2014

April is Adult Learn-to-Swim Month; Nationwide Effort Underway

US Masters Swimming has joined a nationwide campaign launched by the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation to reduce the number of adult drownings, declaring the month of April, "Adult Learn-to-Swim Month."The governors of Florida, Nebraska, Indiana, Washington, Maine, and Vermont have issued declarations in support, and other states are processing proclamation applications.

Lessons are available nationwide. Locations are listed on the US Masters Swimming website at this link. http://www.usms.org/giving/content/learntoswim

"If we can convince water-shy adults to learn to swim in April, we hope to save lives when people gather at pools and beaches for summer recreation," says Rob Butcher, executive director of U.S. Masters Swimming.

Alarmingly, 37 percent of American adults cannot swim the length of a 25-yard pool, according to the Centers for Disease Control, putting them at risk for becoming one of the 10 people who drown every day in the U.S. When adults can't swim, they often pass their fears and water avoidance behaviors on to their children, thus perpetuating the risk of drowning in another generation.

To reduce accidental drowning deaths, which the CDC cites as the fifth leading cause of unintentional deaths, it's recommended that children and adults learn to swim.

Chris Pompi, a civil engineer from Adams, Mass., was 38 years old when he learned to swim. He spent time at the Jersey Shore as a young adult, but couldn't join his friends in the water. "I stayed on the beach, soaking up the sun," he says. And family boat trips were fun for everyone but him. When Pompi had kids, he realized that if something happened to them in the water, he wouldn't be of any help. "Somehow, my 5-year-old had picked up on my fears, and I didn't want him to be afraid like I was, so I knew it was time to learn." Now Pompi and his three children enjoy swimming for fun and exercise.

In addition to helping to prevent drowning, swimming skills provide long-term health and fitness benefits. According to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, more people aspire to use swimming for exercise over all other fitness activities.

"Through our Swimming Saves Lives Foundation, which is supported by contributions from our 60,000 Masters Swimming members, we provide grants to our local partners for adult learn-to-swim classes in their communities," Butcher says. "Once adults learn the lifesaving skill of swimming, our 1500 local programs are there to encourage them to keep swimming and enjoy the lifetime health, fitness, and social benefits of swimming."

Laura Hamel, Communications and Publications Director, laura@usms.org, 941-556-6272

About the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation: The Swimming Saves Lives Foundation is the charitable arm of U.S. Masters Swimming. USMS has been promoting the health and fitness benefits of swimming for more than 40 years. The Foundation provides grants to USMS's local programs for adult learn-to-swim classes. For more information, visit usms.org/giving.

About U.S. Masters Swimming: U.S. Masters Swimming, founded in 1970, is a membership-operated national governing body that promotes health, wellness, fitness and competition for adults through swimming. It does so by partnering with more than 1,500 adult swim programs across the country; promoting information via the bimonthly member magazine, SWIMMER, monthly e-newsletters, STREAMLINES, and website, usms.org; and by sanctioning and promoting pool, open water and virtual events and competitions. Nearly 60,000 adults are registered members of U.S. Masters Swimming.


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