U.S. Masters Swimming Campaigns to Reduce Adult Drowning
April is Adult Learn to Swim month. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, about 10 people drown every day in the United States, and the majority of them are adults or young adults. Some 37 percent of American adults can't swim the length of a pool, putting them at risk of drowning. That's why U.S. Master Swimming is trying to boost the number of adults who know how to swim.
The Swimming Saves Lives Foundation, U.S. Masters Swimming's charitable arm, continues its annual campaign to directly reduce adult drowning by training and certifying adult learn-to-swim instructors and by providing grants for adult swim lessons.
Since 2014 the foundation has awarded more than $205,000 in grants to program partners offering adult swim lessons in communities across the country, including $90,000 in 2016 to 44 partners.
The USMS Adult Learn-to-Swim Instructor Certification Program, launched in 2015, will visit 25 cities this year. To date, 504 instructors have been certified, with 425 more anticipated by the end of 2016.
Bill Brenner, USMS's education director, said that educating instructors is critical to the success of adult swim lessons. "Traditional swim-instructor training is focused on teaching children," he said. "Adults learn differently than children do, and our curriculum teaches instructors how to communicate lifesaving swimming skills to adults."
U.S. Masters Swimming encourages all of its nationwide programs and members to participate in April is Adult Learn-to-Swim Month by hosting ALTS classes in their communities, and by donating to the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation, which is funded by voluntary contributions from more than 60,000 USMS members.
For the past three years, governors in a number of states have issued proclamations in support of April is Adult Learn to Swim Month. These include Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
If you want to get your facility on board, visit www.usms.org/learntoswim to find out more.