S.W.I.M. Tucson

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Participants, teachers and Olympian Ben Kanute poses for photographs before the swim lesson. Photo courtesy Primavera Foundation
Participants, teachers and Olympian Ben Kanute poses for photographs before the swim lesson. Photo courtesy Primavera Foundation

Children from underserved families are at the greatest risk of drowning, due to lack of resources to pay for structured swimming lessons. Dolphins of the Desert Swimming Academy believes that everyone needs to learn to swim, regardless of any obstacles. Since 2007, we have helped thousands of people become better swimmers in Arizona, but we realized that needed to reach out to those less fortunate.

After a successful debut in Greeley, Colorado, in 2016, we brought our Swimming With Motivation and Inspiration event to Tucson, Arizona, on April 22, 2017, at the University of Arizona’s Hillenbrand Aquatic Center. More than 70 local children from underserved families participated in an introductory lesson on their journey to discovering the joy of swimming. The event featured 26 members of the University of Arizona swim team serving as teachers during the special swim lesson, and Olympic triathlete Ben Kanute provided the participants with an inspirational talk about his journey to making the Olympic team!

Kanute also provided autographs to the participants after their swim lesson.

Read pre-event article in Arizona Daily Star.

Ben Kanute with a happy participant. Photo courtesy Primavera Foundation
Ben Kanute with a happy participant. Photo courtesy Primavera Foundation

Children from Imago Dei Middle School, Primavera and GAP Ministries — more than 70 in total — came for the FREE swim lesson, with many of them taking part in their first formal swim lesson. At the end of the lesson, many of the children earned a special towel after completing a 25-meter swim unassisted! Our thanks to the University of Arizona, as well as our adult athletes in the Dolphins of the Desert Swimming Academy Masters program for serving as teachers!

But the learning doesn’t end there. Thanks to the generous help of Kohl’s for Kids, TMC for Children and the DeMont Family Swim School, the participants received vouchers to continue taking free swimming lessons at Tucson YMCAs!

Members of the University of Arizona swim team volunteered to help teach kids basic swimming techniques. Photo courtesy Primavera Foundation
Members of the University of Arizona swim team volunteered to help teach kids basic swimming techniques. Photo courtesy Primavera Foundation

All smiles after a successful swim lesson! Photo courtesy Primavera Foundation
All smiles after a successful swim lesson! Photo courtesy Primavera Foundation

A swimmer wraps herself in the special towel she won for swimming a length of the pool unassisted. Photo courtesy Imago Dei Middle School
A swimmer wraps herself in the special towel she won for swimming a length of the pool unassisted. Photo courtesy Imago Dei Middle School

Special thanks to TYR for providing free swim caps and goggles to the swimmers, and to our donors in the community for their help in making the event a success! If you would like to help sponsor a future S.w.I.M. event, contact Geoff Glaser at Dolphins of the Desert, 520-891-8914 or info@dolphinsofthedesert.com.

All smiles before the S.w.I.M. event starts! Photo courtesy Imago Dei Middle School
All smiles before the S.w.I.M. event starts! Photo courtesy Imago Dei Middle School

All smiles before the S.w.I.M. event starts! Photo courtesy Imago Dei Middle School
All smiles before the S.w.I.M. event starts! Photo courtesy Imago Dei Middle School