Back in high school I was involved in many school activities but nothing compared to being a member of the swim team. A swim team in Brooklyn, you might ask? Yes! Erasmus Hall Campus has an Olympic sized swimming pool and a great swim team. Swimming taught me so much about the sport, my teammates and most of important – myself.
My parents weren’t aware that pools were nearby so I didn’t really learn how to swim till I was in high-school. I learned how to swim when I was 15. With a foam board gripped between my nervous hands, little by little I learned how to swim laps, tread water and before I knew it, I was doing the butterfly, the breast stroke, diving and more! It was an incredible experience. Discipline was something I really didn’t experience in a sport as much as I did swimming and the craziest part of all was that I had a fear of water! By the end of my high school years, the fear was gone.
Swimming is a forgotten sport and it’s so important for kids to experience such a fun and exciting sport.
Did you know?
Research reveals swimming ranks higher than other sports in fun, teamwork, ease of learning, parent enjoyment and social skills.
SwimToday ambassador Dara Torres, a five-time Olympic swimmer-turned-swim-mom, and 13 industry partners are banding together to show non-swimmers and their parents why swimming is the #FunnestSport and provide a warm invitation to join in.
“Being a part of a swim team is one of the most fun and most rewarding experiences a child can have. I’ve benefitted from the sport’s values in every aspect of my life and that’s why my nine-year old daughter is a swimmer,” said Torres. “It’s also why I’m so passionate to share with other parents and invite them to understand what the sport has to offer. Once they know, more parents will have swimming at the top of their lists.”
Through SwimToday, teams nationwide are inviting new swimmers and families to experience the sport with incentives such as free swim team trial periods, customized swim caps and promotional materials from kits sent to 1,500 swim teams to use locally. Parents can learn more about participating teams and find those nearest them by searching their zip code at www.SwimToday.org.
Top 10 Benefits of Swimming
Kicking off the effort to change the minds of non-swimming parents nationwide, Torres will hosted a session with 40 influential “mommy bloggers”, including myself, (89 percent of moms vs. 63 percent of dads are highly involved in sports decision making) in New York City on May 27 at Asphalt Green Swim Center. She shared her experiences as a swimmer and a swim mom, addressed common misconceptions and educated us parents on the sport’s top 10 benefits:
· It’s closer than you think – 62 percent of families live within 10 minutes of a pool; 52 percent of households with combined income of $50,000 or less report they have access to a pool nearby
· Everyone participates – Swimming is inclusive, there are no benchwarmers (nor benches)
· Swimming is a team sport – Only 16 percent of non-swimming parents view swimming as a team sport but parents of swimmers associate the sport with teamwork more than any other sport
· Suit up and go – Only a swimsuit, cap and goggles are necessary to get started
· Life skills – Swimming increases self-confidence, self-esteem, time management, goal-setting and social development
· Easy to learn – 76 percent of parents said the ease of learning to swim was high
· Low risk of injury – No contact makes for a safer environment
· Swimming = total body fitness – Burn 650 calories in an hour – more than walking, biking or team sports
· Sport for life – Once you learn to swim, you can enjoy no matter your age
· Swimming is FUN – Parents confirm that swimming is the #FunnestSport
The campaign is supported by a fun, light-hearted advertising campaign which emphasizes the fun side of the sport. It includes social media materials, print posters, digital ads, bag tags, bumper stickers and a “swim cap certificate” to celebrate the achievement of graduating from a learn to swim program into trying a team. A Public Service Announcement has now generated more than $4 million in donated media time. The culturally-inclusive campaign materials show that kids of all backgrounds and abilities are invited into the sport.
I hope this post encourages you to take the kids to the pool this summer and you never know, you may have an Olympian swimmer on your hands.
Disclosure: No monetary compensation was provided for this post. All opinions are my own.