YMCA to Provide 10,000 Free Swim Lessons to Central Florida Children

ORLANDO, FL – Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in Florida among children ages 1-14. To help ensure Central Florida children are safe this summer in and around the water, the YMCA is offering free introductory swim lessons to children ages 4-12 during SPLASH WEEK, which will be held Monday, April 20 through Friday, April 24, 2015 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. With water everywhere in Florida, the Y knows that swimming is a life skill every child must learn to stay safe, secure and enjoy the water. SPLASH WEEK is a free 5-day swim program for youth ages 4-12 years-old. Daily lessons will be provided by certified Y swim instructors, who will teach basic stroke development, personal safety lessons, and crucial water safety survival skills. “Drowning is no joke here in Central Florida,” says Rowdy Gaines, new YMCA of Central Florida Vice President of Aquatics. “Even when adults are around “watching,” a child can drown in the blink of an eye, and it’s important that parents understand this so they can take all necessary precautions.” In addition to SPLASH WEEK, the YMCA of Central Florida makes swim safety programs accessible and affordable for any family who wishes to make their children safe around water. “In our diverse region, there are also many cultural barriers to learning how to swim which hinders people from taking advantage of the benefits of swimming,” says Gaines, a 3-time Olympic gold medalist. “Our goal is to provide affordable access to swim lessons for all and most importantly to save lives.” SPLASH WEEK is open to the public and will be offered at 20 locations throughout Orange, Osceola, Brevard, Seminole, Lake and Marion counties. Registration is open at individual Y locations. For more information, please visit www.ymcacf.org or call 407.896-9220. About the YMCA of Central Florida The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening communities across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties and the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Each day 35,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2014, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across engaged over 235,000 residents and invested, during a challenging economy, $10.2 million in its local communities. The YMCA of Central Florida also provided $9.4 million in financial assistance to children and families, which supported lasting personal and social change.   ###