| Friday, March 17, 2017
The USA Swimming Foundation is proud to announce an expanded partnership with Starfish Aquatics Institute, a program currently part of the Foundation’s Affiliate Coalition. All of the US-based Starfish Swimming and PADITM Swim Schools operated by Starfish Aquatics Institute are now being recognized as USA Swimming Foundation Make a Splash Local Partners.
The two organizations will collaborate to support these swim lesson providers to create opportunities for non-swimmers to learn the lifesaving skill of swimming and reduce drowning rates nationwide.
“Learning to swim is a critical life-saving skill, and the first step for anyone to enjoy the aquatic environment and aquatic activities for life,” said USA Swimming Foundation Executive Director Debbie Hesse. “We are thrilled and honored to partner with Starfish Aquatics and PADITM Swim to expand our Make a Splash Local Partner Network. It is our goal to provide 1 million swim lessons through our Make a Splash Local Partner network in 2017 and this partnership will affect the lives of thousands of children in communities across the nation."
Starfish Aquatics Institute works to save lives by providing reputable and responsive aquatic safety training programs and services delivered to the public through a network of friendly, knowledgeable aquatic professionals who serve as independent training providers.
"The Starfish Aquatics Institute (SAI) is very excited about our new relationship with the USA Swimming Foundation and the Make a Splash initiative," said Jennifer White, Chief Operating Officer at SAI and Swim School Specialist. "We charter signatories to the initiative and have always strongly supported it, this will enable all SAI clients to participate in Make a Splash from day one, when they adopt the Starfish Swimming or PADITM Swim School curriculum."
This partnership is an expansion on an existing relationship. The USA Swimming Foundation and Starfish Aquatics Institute have created a pathway to confirm all Starfish and PADITM Swim Schools as USA Swimming Foundation Make a Splash Local Partners, providing each with valuable resources, materials, and marketing support, in addition to the opportunity to apply for grant funding through the USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash annual grant fund, in support of swim lessons for children who otherwise would not learn to swim.
The USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative provides the opportunity for every child in America to learn to swim – regardless of race, gender or financial circumstances. It is the nation’s pre-eminent learn to swim initiative, with approximately 850 Make a Splash Local Partners nationwide who provide swim lessons and educate children and their families on the importance of learning how to swim. Since 2007, more than 4.9 million children have learned the critical life-saving skill of swim lessons through the Foundation’s Make a Splash Local Partner network. Thus far, the USA Swimming Foundation has provided more than 4 million dollars in grants to local partners for free and low cost swimming lessons nationwide.
Alarming Drowning Statistics
- Approximately 10 people drown every day in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 25 percent of these are children younger than 14
- 70 percent of African-American, 60 percent of Hispanic/Latino, and 42 percent of Caucasian children cannot swim, according to a national research study by the USA Swimming Foundation and the University of Memphis
- Only 19 percent of children who come from a non-swimming household will ever learn to swim, according to the USA Swimming Foundation research
- African-American children drown at a rate nearly three times higher than their Caucasian peers, the CDC reports
- Drowning is a silent killer—most young children who drowned in pools were last seen in the home, had been out of sight less than five minutes, and were in the care of one or both parents at the time, according to the Present P. Child Drowning study