Alexandria, VA (December 8, 2021) – Olympic Gold Medalist Rowdy Gaines, along with swimming and pool industry leaders from the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA), the Pool & Hot Tub Foundation (PHTF), the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF), and Every Child A Swimmer, announced a partnership to help combat drowning and create more swimmers. The one-year agreement between these organizations marks a pivotal collaboration to further promote swimming education and share available resources providing free or reduced-cost swimming lessons in communities across the country. Other partners in this initiative are the Florida Swimming Pool Association (FSPA), National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA), and the United States Swimming School Association (USSSA).
“I am so excited to have ASCA join in this partnership. With these major players in the aquatic world coming together for this cause, it will make a monumental difference in the number of children we will reach,” said 3-time Olympic Champion Rowdy Gaines, PHTA Vice President of Partnerships and Development, who is leading PHTF’s Step Into Swim initiative. “By teaching our youth the lifesaving skill of learning to swim, we can make a real, lasting impact and instill confidence in people as they take to the water. We will truly save lives.”
By working together with ASCA, and its learn-to-swim program SwimAmerica™, these partner organizations will raise money to fund reduced- or no-cost swimming lessons for children throughout the United States.
“Our members dedicate their lives to children and to swimming,” said Jennifer LaMont, CEO of the American Swimming Coaches Association. “We are encouraging all of our SwimAmerica™ providers to participate by offering lessons at little or no expense to anyone for whom cost is a barrier.”
The Every Child A Swimmer and Step Into Swim™ campaign is designed to create more swimmers by awarding grants to facilities across the country to support swim lessons. Every Child A Swimmer ™ and Step Into Swim™ swimming lesson providers will include SwimAmerica™, YMCA, USSSA members, and the American Red Cross.
Florida is the first in the United States to pass Every Child A Swimmer legislation. Beginning with the 2022-2023 school year, the law will require schools to distribute information on the important role water safety education courses and swimming lessons play in saving lives to parents of newly enrolled students. Parents will also receive a list of swimming lesson providers and information on where and how they can enroll their children in reduced- or no-cost swim lessons.
Dr. Bill Kent, the Chairman of the Board of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, championed the bill through the Florida legislature in 2021. His commitment to water safety for children continues as he advocates for the implementation of the bill through Every Child A Swimmer™.
Other states considering the legislation are New Jersey and New York.
Donations to support Step Into Swim/Every Child A Swimmer can be made at www.stepintoswim.org. Donations can be designated for specific swimming lesson providers.
About Pool & Hot Tub Alliance and Step Into Swim:
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.
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 285,000 children with support from community organizations, partners, industry advocates, members and more. For more information, visit www.stepintoswim.org.
About American Swimming Coaches Association:
The American Swimming Coaches Association is the leading professional advocacy organization for swimming coaches throughout the United States and the world. ASCA is dedicated to improving coaches and their profession through leadership, education, and certification. SwimAmerica is ASCA’s learn-to-swim program that is a highly effective swim school licensing program for professional coaches and swim school operators who want the very best for the children in their community. For more information, visit https://swimmingcoach.org.
About International Swimming Hall of Fame and Every Child A Swimmer:
The International Swimming Hall of Fame is an organization organized under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRC with a primary mission to collaborate with aquatic organizations worldwide to preserve, educate and celebrate the history of aquatic sports while promoting swimming instruction for children through its Every Child A Swimmer program. For more information, visit https://ishof.org.
ECAS is a registered trademark of the ISHOF and represents the ISHOF founding fathers’ spiritual mission: to prevent childhood drownings and further legislative action that would encourage parents to teach their kids how to swim before they enter kindergarten. For more information, visit www.everychildaswimmer.org.