Living in SoCal we can’t escape the backyard pools. Even if you don’t have one, chances are good that a neighbor, friend or relative does. The motto of Academy Swim Club has always been “Learn to swim . . . for life!” Now we’re adding another – “Every child a swimmer by 3!” A motto and a mission.
Two summers ago, back in 2008, July was a particularly difficult month at ASC. Every weekend for an entire month brought news of another child drowning in Santa Clarita. Thankfully none of our ASC family was hit with this tragedy, but some of their neighbors were. Naturally, all of us were shocked and saddened, but in the end we were motivated to do something. A little education would go a long way in preventing further incidents, so in response ASC offered a free CPR and Water Safety course – not just for our members, but anyone in the community. The following spring we dispatched our Aquatic Safety Awareness Program (ASAP) Ambassadors to pre-schools and elementary schools all over the valley to educate and empower over 2100 children to save their own lives with basic water safety. No one wanted to see another summer like ’08.
Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children under 5. Many parents do not think of signing their child up for swim lessons until they are almost 5, so when you think about it, this is hardly surprising. Water is everywhere – pools, fountains, toilets, buckets – and kids love the stuff. Can’t keep them away. Nothing replaces supervision (even for excellent young swimmers), but learning to swim adds another layer of protection.
We want summer to be about fireworks, camping trips, blockbusters and pool parties. So that’s our motto and our mission – “Every child a swimmer by 3!!!”