Olympic Gold Medalists Jessica Hardy and Jason Lezak Host First Ever “Make a Splash Games” for Kids in Los Angeles
USA Swimming Foundation Creates Friendly Competition for Pre-Schoolers
PR Newswire, Los Angeles, Calif. August 3, 2016
To spread a message of saving lives through swim lessons, the USA Swimming Foundation along with Olympic gold medalists Jessica Hardy and Jason Lezak hosted the Make a Splash Games at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool located in Long Beach. The Olympic-style competition for kids that range in age of three to six years old kicks off the start of the Summer Olympic Games in a fun way, while reminding everyone how important it is to learn water safety. 10 children participated in the friendly competition which featured fundamental elements of a swim lesson including back floating, kickboard exercises and diving for toys. The event concluded with a medal ceremony celebrating their accomplishments. The event was created by USA Swimming Foundation and their Make a Splash program which encourages parents to sign their children up for swim lessons to prevent drownings amongst children.
“I almost drowned as a child so encouraging children to swim is a passion of mine,” stated Jessica Hardy. “I’ve had a great career in swimming so the ‘Make a Splash Games’ is an opportunity to give back to the sport that’s changed my life.”
Child drownings are the second leading cause of unintentional death for children under 14, and the leading cause of unintentional death for children under the age of 4. “The Make a Splash Games show it is never too early to sign your children up for swim lessons,” says Debbie Hesse, Executive Director of the USA Swimming Foundation. “This was a fun way to demonstrate the importance of learning a potentially life-saving skill as drownings are the second leading cause of preventable deaths amongst children.”
Alarming Drowning Statistics:
- Childhood drowning is preventable and is a risk to children of all ethnic backgrounds
- Swimming lessons can reduce the likelihood of accidental childhood drowning by 88%
- 70% of African American children cannot swim
- 60% of Latino children cannot swim
- 40% of Caucasian children cannot swim
- Approximately 3,500 people die of drowning annually
Since 2007, USA Swimming Foundation’s “Make a Splash” initiative has given more than 4 million children the lifesaving gift of free or low-cost swim lessons. The USA Swimming Foundation has a goal of providing swim lessons to 1 million children annually through its Local Partner network, by December 31, 2017. Through Make a Splash funding this year, more than 20,000 children will be served through grants provided to 52 Make a Splash Local Partners across 23 states. Over the last nine years, almost four million children have received formalized swim instruction through Make a Splash local partners.
The USA Swimming Foundation raises funds to support programs that save lives and build champions–in the pool and in life. As the philanthropic arm of USA Swimming, the USA Swimming Foundation works to strengthen the sport from grassroots to gold medals. If your child cannot swim or you would like to help others learn this critical life-saving skill, visit www.usaswimmingfoundation.org to find a local partner offering affordable swim lessons.
For additional information visit www.usaswimmingfoundation.org.
About the USA Swimming Foundation
The USA Swimming Foundation serves as the philanthropic arm of USA Swimming. Established in 2004, the Foundation works to strengthen the sport by saving lives and building champions— in the pool and in life. Whether we’re equipping our children with the life-saving skill of learn-to-swim through our Make a Splash initiative, or providing financial support to our heroes on the U.S. National Team, the USA Swimming Foundation aims to provide the wonderful experience of swimming to kids at all levels across the country. To learn more, visit www.usaswimmingfoundation.org.
About the USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative
The USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative is a national child-focused water safety campaign, which aims to provide the opportunity for every child in America to learn to swim. Through Make a Splash, the USA Swimming Foundation partners with learn-to-swim providers and water safety advocates across the country to provide swimming lessons and educate children and their families on the importance of learning how to swim. The USA Swimming Foundation has invested millions of dollars to provide grants to qualified Local Partner learn-to-swim programs, to spread national awareness, and to bring together strategic partners to end drowning. To date, four million children have received the lifesaving gift of swim lessons through the USA Swimming Foundation Make a Splash Local Partner network, comprised of more than 750 qualified lesson providers across the nation. To learn more, visit www.usaswimmingfoundation.org/makeasplash.