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

Feature Story

January 2022


PHTA Funds Swim Lessons for Nearly 6,300 Children in 2021

The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) and its foundation are celebrating the donors who made 2021 a record-setting year for the alliance's Step Into Swim initiative, which is committed to safe swim education. The program raised more than $1 million and provided swim lessons to 6,297 children, with support from major founding partner Every Child A Swimmer and other industry leaders.

In advancing its Step Into Swim initiative, PHTA continues to collaborate with individuals and donors who have a passion for protecting kids in the water. Top 2021 donors included Bill Kent Family Foundation and Fluidra (Diamond Level); American Pools, AquaCal, Claffey Pools and Hayward (Platinum Level); and Kiwanis International, Master Pools Guild, and Premier Pools and Spas (Gold Level).

"We are making strides to combat childhood drowning thanks to the generous donors who share in our mission to create more swimmers. Our efforts to expand Step Into Swim would not be possible without their support," said Rowdy Gaines, three-time Olympic Gold Medalist and vice president of partnerships and development at PHTA. "The aquatics industry has a unique opportunity to come together in the name of safe swim education. Our partners truly delivered on that in 2021."

In 2021, Step Into Swim raised over $500,000 dollars from the pool and hot tub industry, which will be matched by the PHTA board of directors; provided grants to 22 facilities in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas; funded swim lessons for 6,297 children; and formed a coalition of advocates, inclusive of Every Child A Swimmer, International Swimming Hall of Fame, American Swimming Coaches Association, Florida Swimming Pool Association, National Drowning Prevention Alliance, and the United States Swimming Pool Association. The strategic coalition has generated additional dollars and visibility to further promote swimming education.

"I am in awe of how far Step Into Swim has come thanks to the leadership of Rowdy Gaines and our Champions Board, as well as the support from our members and partners," said Sabeena Hickman, CAE, president and CEO of PHTA. "Everyone plays a special role in helping us mobilize against an important initiative to provide educational resources and access to free swimming lessons. The future is bright as we continue to build upon this momentum in 2022."

Donors can support Step Into Swim through tiered funding levels, including the Build A Pool, Save A Life Sponsorship where companies can pledge funds based on the number of pools built or maintenance contracts signed each year. All funds go directly to Step Into Swim programming. Visit www.StepIntoSwim.org to see a full list of supporters and to learn more about how to get involved.


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