S.w.I.M. Greeley

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Photo by Raj Reddy
Photo by Raj Reddy

Drowning is the second-largest cause of death in children under 12.

The number of people who die from drowning each day in the United States is in the double digits.

Children from underserved families are at the greatest risk of drowning, due to lack of resources to pay for structured swimming lessons.

Photo by Raj Reddy
Geoff Glaser at the SWIM Greeley event. Photo by Raj Reddy

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.

On October 1, 2016, DDSA co-founders Jeff Commings and Geoff Glaser debuted “Swimming With Inspiration and Motivation” on the campus of the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. The event featured 26 children from the Greeley Transitional House, which helps families find stability after the loss of a job or other financial setbacks. The highlight of the day was an introductory 30-minute lesson for the children. For some, it was their first formal swimming lesson, and hopefully the start of a lifelong love of the sport. The members of the UNC women’s swim team served as teachers in the water, and the UNC chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha offered support during the event. A3 Performance donated swimsuits and goggles for every child to use during the lesson!

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Photo by Jeff Commings
A young swimmer works with a member of the UNC women’s swim team. Photo by Jeff Commings

Photo by Jeff Commings
A young swimmer works with a member of the UNC women’s swim team. Photo by Jeff Commings

Olympic gold medalist Darian Townsend was the event’s featured speaker and served as the “Inspiration” for the children. Participants watched videos of Townsend’s swimming accomplishments, saw him demonstrate all four swimming strokes and got a glimpse of his Olympic gold medal! Also in attendance was Olympic gold medalist B.J. Bedford, who also helped teach during the swim lesson!

Photo by Raj Reddy
Olympian Darian Townsend teaching swimming skills at the SWIM Greeley event. Photo by Raj Reddy

Photo by Jeff Commings
Olympian Darian Townsend with a fan at the SWIM Greeley event. Photo by Jeff Commings

Photo by Jeff Commings
Olympian B.J. Bedford poses with Geoff Glaser at the SWIM Greeley event. Photo by Jeff Commings

Photo by Jeff Commings
Olympian B.J. Bedford works on swimming skills with Greeley youth at the SWIM event. Photo by Jeff Commings

Though our chief goal was to make these children safe in the water, we wanted them to find the “Motivation” within themselves to reach their fullest potential in all aspects of their lives. With the understanding that athletes such as Townsend had to work hard to accomplish their life goals, the children set out to do their best in the swimming lesson, which we believe will translate to their aspirations outside the pool.

The swim lesson on October 1 was just the beginning. Greeley Transitional House and Dolphins of the Desert are working to raise money that will pay for more swimming lessons for the children. The promise we made to them is that we would work hard to make them water safe, and we need your help to keep that promise.

The cost to put one child into a group swimming lesson in Greeley is about $30. To make a tax-deductible donation, please send a check to:
Greeley Transitional House, Attn: Jodi Hartmann
1206 10th Street
Greeley, CO 80631

We are looking to make this an annual event in Greeley. We are also planning to host a similar event in Tucson, Arizona, and you can help to make it happen. To learn how you can contribute to the Greeley or Tucson swim events, send an email to Geoff Glaser.