5 Stories to Make Sure Your Summer is a SPLASHing Success

With the cool spring temperatures finally behind us, the heat and humidity in the air is rising. What better way to combat hot summer days, than with a dip in the pool or an ocean swim at your favorite beach? As someone who relies on the doggy paddle to stay afloat, I empathize with the other one-third of U.S. adults who don't know how to swim. Across the country, people are developing programs to help teach adults, the disabled, and children how to swim so that they too can get off land and enjoy summer months from the refreshing water.


1. Casco Bay YMCA Helps Adults Conquer their Fear of Swimming

Are you part of the adult population that can't swim? Different organizations across the country are beginning to offer adult focused swim classes, one being offered in Casco Bay, Maine. After learning that approximately 10 people die each day from unintentional drowning, the Casco Bay YMCA jump started a swim class to help adults combat their fear of swimming. The class called, "Swimming Saves Lives," is made possible from a $3,000 grant from the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation. Halfway through the course, one program participant said that she already learned how to float in the pool and put her head under water. There are about 60 adults enrolled in the "Swimming Saves Lives" class at the YMCA, filled with optimism in the hopes that they will soon conquer their long-standing fear of swimming.

2. Swimming Pool Exclusively for … DOGS!

Located in Fairfield County, CT is an all-dog swim pool at the Dogs Gone Smart Canine Center. Not just a fun hobby for humans, swimming is something that everyone can enjoy, even your favorite furry friend. Swimming helps to keep elderly dogs active, improves cardiovascular fitness, and helps to develop muscles while keeping weight gain down. The all-dog swimming pool is 24 feet long x 11 feet wide and is 4 ½ feet deep (almost as tall as me)! What's the best part about this swimming pool? It's open 7 days a week, which means you can enjoy some time to yourself on the weekends, knowing your dog is in good hands. The Canine Center offers recreational swim time for some day-time fun, and also offers swim safety lessons for those more serious about their pet's swim skills.

3. A Century of Swimming

What's the secret to living for 99 years? Swimming! Australian swimmer Georges Corones swam a 50-meter freestyle in March of this year, defeating the previous record made four years ago by 35 seconds. Swimming three times a week is what Corones accredits his success to. After swimming when he was younger, Corones took a break in his sixties before returning to the water when he turned 80 – initially just for exercise. This centurion winner shows that swimming can help people to stay in shape, healthy, and provide a means of conquering new goals and achievements that one never thought doable.

4. Children with Disabilities Compete on Synchronized Swim Team

Not even a few waves can stop these powerful disabled children, who are showing the world just how they are able to tackle the challenge of swimming. Athletes With Disabilities (AWD) Swim Team is a synchronized swim team led by teenager Raquel Boales, who was born with Erbs Palsy – a paralysis of the arm, limiting her range of motion. Raquel defies the odds as she has traveled to Japan and Spain to swim in AWD exhibitions. She also traveled to Brazil in 2016 for the Summer Paralympics week and swam in a ParaSynchro Exhibition in the solo, duet combo with a Brazilian synchro swimmer-amputee to showcase Athletes With Physical Disabilities. Raquel stands as an inspirational swimmer for all children and young adults with disabilities and continues to demonstrate that swimming is possible for all walks of people.

5. Who Said Mermaids Aren't Real?

"Darlin' it's better, down where it's wetter, under the sea," especially for Marielle Chartier Henault and her students, who embrace their inner mermaid. Marielle founded Aquasirene, a mermaid school in Canada, which gives people – particularly young girls – the ability to become mermaids through a fun and exciting way of learning how to swim. Marielle's classes promote fitness on a multitude of levels, especially for targeting core muscles. Additionally, swimming like a mermaid allows participants to swim in deeper waters, which teaches them the value of breath control. So, put away those flip flops and water shoes, and embody what it takes to be a mermaid this summer!

Swimming is an activity that is enjoyed by millions of people (and pets) each summer; yet it can be an obstacle for those who may lack the ability to swim properly or effectively. Organizations and programs across the U.S. are dedicating their time to ensure the safety of fellow citizens as they tackle the summer season from the cool waves of the ocean to the comfort of their backyard pool. So, no matter what your summer may hold, always remember to feel the water, and "just keep swimming."

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