Recreation Management Rec Report - The Newsletter for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

March 2016

Miracle Swimming Opens First Pool Dedicated to Those With Water Fears

Nearly half (46 percent) of American adults cannot swim because they are fearful in deep water, creating a need for swimming lessons designed specifically not just for adults, but also to overcome those fears. On April 16, 2016, a new swimming pool dedicated specifically to teaching adults to swim is scheduled to open in Sarasota, Fla.

"There is such a vast need for good adult swimming classes nation- and world-wide that a dedicated location is overdue," said M. Ellen Dash, CEO of Sarasota-based Miracle Swimming for Adults Inc., a swim school for adults since 1983 that will open and operate the pool. "There is no other place where adults can reliably overcome their fear of water and learn to swim in two to three weeks."

The overwhelming need for good adult swimming lessons stems from two sources: a history of conventional lessons that make strokes the goal instead of confidence, and frightening experiences in water that have not been overcome. Some 80 percent of American drowning victims are adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And when adults learn to swim, the chances are higher that whole families will be safer in the water.

The new Miracle Swimming Pool, which formerly belonged to the Flanzer Jewish Community Center of Sarasota, has nearly been demolished more than once.

"A beautiful pool like this deserves to be revived and open to serve the community," Dash said. MSA, a 501c3 nonprofit, is seeking to raise funds via a Kickstarter campaign to resurface and renovate the pool.

Planners say the pool will be open for annual memberships, with fees applies to pool maintenance. Members can sign up for local programming, which will include beginning classes for adults, freestyle and pre-masters swimming classes, lessons for expecting parents, classes for parents to learn to teach their children to swim, "Sing and Swim" lessons for sinkers, backyard pool safety classes, and lessons for children and teens to prevent them from becoming adults who are afraid in the water.

More than 50 instructors around the world are currently licensed to teach Miracle Swimming. Instructor training will also take place at the new facility.

For more information, visit

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