The National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) is launching the Step Into Swim Campaign in an effort to improve public health and reduce drowning. This 10-year campaign will initially partner with nine organizations that teach children, adults, and minority populations how to swim. These organizations include YMCA of USA, Jewish Community Centers, US Swim School Association, World’s Largest Swim Lesson, Miracle Swimming Institute, Strategies for Overcoming Aquatic Phobias, American Red Cross, Make a Splash Campaign and Swim America.
“Pool builders, retailers, service companies, renovators, distributors, manufacturers and industry associations all have a vested interest in the world having more swimmers,” says Thomas M. Lachocki, Ph.D., CEO with NSPF. “More swimmers means more healthy people who are less likely to drown and more likely to buy a pool and all the associated products.”
“Becoming a swimmer is the first step to opening a spectrum of fun and health activities for the entire family — grandparents, grandkids and everyone in between,” adds John Puetz, president of the NSPF board of directors.
The Step Into Swim Campaign asks pool, spa and aquatic businesses and associations, and the public sector to sponsor organizations that are already teaching people to swim. The NSPF issued a white paper to help the public and private sector understand the enormous issues facing our society. The paper explains the financial benefit of creating more swimmers — how more people swimming can relieve the skyrocketing healthcare cost propelled by physical inactivity, an aging society and troubling drowning rates.
“Since 2003, we have given about $4 million to fund research to solve many important problems and demonstrate the benefits of aquatic activity,” says Puetz. “Now, we will shift more resources and focus more efforts to solve major problems, by encouraging greater aquatic activity.”
The Step Into Swim Campaign will officially begin with the Step Into Swim Congress on Oct. 10, 2012 (right before the 9th annual World Aquatic Health Conference in Norfolk, Va.). The Step Into Swim Congress will feature the nine organizations from above.
“We are thrilled to organize this campaign, and align with and support these organizations who deliver a valuable primary prevention practice critical to public health and our country’s ability to be economically sound and competitive,” says Dr. Lachocki.
To learn more about donations and sponsoring these organizations, visit www.StepIntoSwim.org.