Alexandria, Va. (February 13, 2023) – Step Into Swim, an initiative of the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) dedicated to creating more swimmers through safe swim education, today announced strategic partnerships with key program supporters Master Pools Guild (MPG), Northeast Spa & Pool Association (NESPA) Foundation, and Periodic Products, Inc. The partners committed a total of $95,000, which will help Step Into Swim gift grants to learn-to-swim providers across the country and fund swim lessons for nearly 2,000 children while driving down the drowning rate.
“The best thing we can do to keep our children safe in the water is to continue talking about the lifesaving skill of learning to swim and increase access to swim education to make water safety a reality for children in need,” says Rowdy Gaines, three-time Olympic Gold Medalist and Vice President of Partnerships and Development for PHTA, who leads the Step Into Swim initiative. “MPG, NESPA Foundation, and Periodic Products are longtime safety champions in the industry who continue to advocate for the next generation of swimmers. They share in Step Into Swim’s mission to create more swimmers and help provide a stepping stone to reach our goals in 2023.”
Drowning is the leading cause of death among children ages 1 to 4, though learning to swim from a qualified instructor reduces the risk of drowning by 88% among this age group. Step Into Swim, with the help of partners like MPG, NESPA Foundation, Periodic Products, and others, is taking an active role to reduce drowning by reaching as many families as possible through safe swimming efforts.
Partnership Celebration with MPG
MPG, an exclusive network of over 100 elite custom pool builders from across the globe, committed $50,000 to Step Into Swim. The company works to enhance outdoor living spaces and continues to support swim education and access as part of its passion for aquatic recreation. Through its Platinum Level sponsorship, MPG will help Step Into Swim provide learn-to-swim programming for 1,000 children.
“The Master Pools Guild is excited to see the momentum that [PHTA President and CEO] Sabeena Hickman and Rowdy Gaines have built around the Step Into Swim program,” says Teri Wiltshire, Executive Director at MPG. “We are proud to partner with PHTA, and other industry supporters, sharing the goal of increased access to swim lessons and instilling water confidence in all swimmers.”
Partnership Celebration with NESPA Foundation
NESPA is a professional organization that advances the commercial interests of members in the pool and spa industry. The NESPA Foundation, which was created to advance education and professionalism in the industry, committed $25,000 to Step Into Swim. The association prides itself on making an impact in the industry, and its ongoing support of Step Into Swim affirms its advocacy work to support swim education in needed communities. Through its Gold Level sponsorship, the NESPA Foundation will help Step Into Swim provide learn-to-swim programming for 500 children.
“The NESPA Foundation is focused on creating more opportunities for children to learn lifesaving water skills and introducing kids to a lifelong love of aquatics,” says Dominick Mondi, Executive Director of NESPA. “Partnering with Step Into Swim aligns perfectly with our efforts. We were thrilled to see so many like-minded industry leaders join us in supporting Step Into Swim’s mission at NESPA’s annual Pool & Spa Show in January.”
Partnership Celebration with Periodic Products
Periodic Products, a material science technology company with a full range of swimming pool chemicals and products, committed $20,000 to Step Into Swim, which underscores its vision to advance safer environments in the industries it serves. Through its Gold Level sponsorship, Periodic Products will help Step Into Swim provide learn-to-swim programming for 400 children.
“It is an honor to be a Gold Level sponsor for the Step Into Swim program,” says PHTA Chair-Elect Joseph Laurino, PhD, President and CEO of Periodic Products, Inc. “Periodic Products and its employees are committed to helping make a difference in the communities we serve, and creating healthier and safer swimming environments is one important way. With this donation, Periodic Products is proud to impact so many children.”
All Step Into Swim partners have a collective goal of providing the lifesaving skill of learning to swim and raising awareness for the aquatic industry’s role in improving public health and safety. In 2022, the program raised over $750,000 dollars, which provided grants to more than 60 facilities in 46 states and funded swim lessons for 23,500 children. The initiative has gifted more than 300,000 swim lessons since 2012 through YMCAs, Jewish Community Centers, Boys and Girls Clubs, and many more. The program is funded through partner contributions, which are integral for advancing the mission. 100 percent of donations go to Step Into Swim initiatives and learn-to-swim programming. To learn more, visit www.StepIntoSwim.org.
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Drowning Data. https://www.cdc.gov/drowning/data/index.html
 Association Between Swimming Lessons and Drowning in Childhood, A Case-Control Study: Ruth Brenner, et al. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4151293/
About the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance
The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), a non-profit organization with nearly 3,500 members from around the world, was established in 1956 to support, promote, and protect the common interests of the $36.5B pool, hot tub, and spa industry. PHTA provides education, advocacy, standards development, research, and market growth to increase our members’ professionalism, knowledge, and profitability. Additionally, PHTA facilitates the expansion of swimming, water safety, and related research and outreach activities aimed at introducing more people to swimming, making swimming environments safer, and keeping pools open to serve communities. For more information, visit www.phta.org.
About Step Into Swim
Step Into SwimTM is an initiative of the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance and its foundation committed to safe swim education and drowning prevention. By investing in the next generation of swimmers through learn-to-swim programming, the Step Into Swim initiative instills confidence, empowers long-term participation in water activities, touts the positive benefits of water play, and advocates for safe practices. Since its inception in 2012, Step Into Swim has played a role in reducing drowning fatalities and has gifted swim lessons to more than 300,000 children with support from community organizations, partners, industry advocates, members and more. For more information, visit www.stepintoswim.org.