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.
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!
Dolphins of the Desert Swimming Academy is now a Local Partner with the USA Swimming Foundation! The USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative is a national child-focused water safety campaign, which aims to provide the opportunity for every child in America to learn to swim. Through Make a Splash, the USA Swimming Foundation partners with learn-to-swim providers and water safety advocates across the country to provide swimming lessons and educate children and their families on the importance of learning how to swim. The USA Swimming Foundation has invested millions of dollars to provide grants to qualified Local Partner learn-to-swim programs, to spread national awareness, and to bring together strategic partners to end drowning. To date, more than 5 million children have received the lifesaving gift of swim lessons through the USA Swimming Foundation Make a Splash Local Partner network, comprised of more than 850 qualified lesson providers across the nation. To learn more, visit www.usaswimmingfoundation.org.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.