VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In celebration of National Water Safety Month and Virginia Beach, VA-based Swimways’ fifth annual National Learn to Swim Day, the leading manufacturer of pool and outdoor recreational products and the USA Swimming Foundation, an organization whose mission is to strengthen the sport by saving lives and building champions in the pool and in life, announced yesterday a new partnership to raise awareness about water safety and the importance of teaching children to swim, an essential life skill.
Approximately 10 people drown every day in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with nearly 25 percent of children younger than 14 years old. According to a study by the USA Swimming Foundation and the University of Memphis, 70 percent of African-American children, 60 percent of Latino children, and 40 percent of Caucasian children have low or no swimming ability. The partnership between Swimways and the USA Swimming Foundation was created to combat some of the alarming statistics surrounding child drowning.
“We are excited to team up with the USA Swimming Foundation to help elevate a very important conversation about water safety, especially as we approach Memorial Day weekend and the summer season,” said Anthony Vittone, Senior Vice President, Swimways. “Our goal is to provide the information, tools and resources necessary to enable kids nationwide to learn this essential life skill.”
Olympic Gold Medalist and USA Swimming Foundation Ambassador, Rowdy Gaines, joined the celebration by giving a private swim lesson to local children at the Princess Anne Family YMCA in Virginia Beach, VA. As a result of the new partnership, the YMCA will receive a grant to provide the resources and swim lessons necessary to teach children in the local area how to swim, regardless of their race, gender or financial circumstances.
“As someone who practically lives in the pool, I truly understand the importance of ensuring kids know this critical skill at an early age,” added Gaines. “Swimming can not only save lives, but it can build confidence and teach kids about determination.”
As an official sponsor of the USA Swimming Foundation, Swimways will continue working with the USA Swimming Foundation, whose mission is to provide free or low cost swim lessons so that every child in America has the opportunity to learn to swim.
“The great thing about water safety is that there’s a simple solution – swim lessons,” said USA Swimming Foundation Executive Director, Debbie Hesse. “Drowning is preventable, and we are looking forward to working with Swimways in making both of our goals of helping all children learn to swim become a reality.”
Families can learn more about National Learn to Swim Day, find water safety tips, learn to swim videos, resources and swimming aid products by visiting TeachMeToSwim.com or www.usaswimmingfoundation.org.
About Swimways Corp.
Based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Swimways is a privately owned leisure and recreational water products manufacturer whose mission is making free time more fun through innovation. It is a company rich in traditional values and respected for the quality and integrity of its products and services. With distribution in over 20,000 storefronts, it markets three unique brands: SwimWays®, Kelsyus® and COOP®. With offices in Hong Kong and the United States, the company’s diverse staff is passionate about developing fun and engaging products for kids. They are equally passionate about making sure kids are safe in and around the water and believe learning to swim is an important life skill. Swimways has been helping kids learn to swim for over 40 years -- longer than anyone else (except parents, of course!). For more information about Swimways, visit www.Swimways.com.
About the USA Swimming Foundation
The USA Swimming Foundation serves as the philanthropic arm of USA Swimming. Established in 2004, the Foundation works to strengthen the sport by saving lives and building champions — in the pool and in life. Whether we’re equipping our children with the life-saving skill of learn-to-swim through our Make a Splash initiative, or providing financial support to our heroes on the U.S. National Team, the USA Swimming Foundation aims to provide the wonderful experience of swimming to kids at all levels across the country. To learn more, visit www.usaswimmingfoundation.org.