All 14 Valley YMCA pools will be conducting swimming lessons for both kids and adults throughout this summer. As the weather warms up, inhabitants of the desert search to cool down in cold water. Unfortunately, though, this means a rise in life threatening incidents related to the water.
The goal of the lessons is to keep Arizona residents safe around the water through a curriculum of water safety and swim training. The sessions will be structured and taught in a way that is both engaging and understandable for all ages.
The classes will be hosted by Darian Townsend. Townsend has competed in the Olympics three times for his home country of South Africa. He was a gold medal winner in 2004 and has since moved to the US and became a citizen.
Since moving to Arizona, Townsend found it difficult not to see the dangers that water can play host to. During the lessons at the YMCA, the organization sets out ten pairs of shoes along the pool deck representing the lives of the ten men, women, and children that have already lost their lives this year to water related incidents. Townsend notes that water can give someone so much, but it can also take everything away.
The new curriculum has been set out with the goal of teaching 35,000 Valley residents this summer. The YMCA also mentioned that it is their personal mission to make sure that the lessons are affordable for everyone. The organization wants to make sure that these lessons reach as many people as possible before the YMCA worries about making money off of them.
Forms to sign up can be found online. There are also scholarship applications found alongside these forms.