COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, May 9. THE USA Swimming Foundation, in partnership with Phillips 66, is hosting its fifth annual Make a Splash Tour in New York City on May 16-18. Swimming World Magazine will be on site throughout the three-day tour, which will feature appearances by 2012 Olympic gold medalist Cullen Jones, swimming legend and “voice of the sport” Rowdy Gaines, and National team swimmers Lia Neal, Josh Schneider and Jimmy Feigen.
Make a Splash is a national, child-focused water safety initiative created by the USA Swimming Foundation. Shocking statistics indicate that 70 percent of African American children, 60 percent of Hispanic/Latino children and 40 percent of Caucasian children have little or no swimming abilities. Lowering those statistics through three key efforts is the primary goal of Make a Splash: teach kids the lifesaving skill of learn-to swim; raise national awareness of the importance of learning to swim; and bring together a coalition of aquatic industry partners aligned to end drowning in the U.S.
Cullen Jones is a dedicated advocate of water safety, and the primary spokesperson for Make a Splash, after nearly drowning at age five. “When formal swimming lessons are introduced at a young age, the risk of drowning is reduced by a staggering 88 percent,” Jones said. “Swimming is a critical skill for children to learn that can determine the difference between life and death in a matter of seconds.”
The New York event centers on bringing swimming to the local community. It includes water safety information sessions and free swimming lessons at local partner pools in the Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods.
“The USA Swimming Foundation is dedicated to saving lives and building champions. We are excited to be on tour again this summer, raising awareness about the importance of learning to swim,” said Debbie Hesse, Executive Director of the USA Swimming Foundation. “More than 1.8 million kids have taken swim lessons through our Make a Splash Local Partners to date. We are incredibly grateful to Phillips 66, who has made such a difference nationally in spreading the important message of water safety.”
Sobering Drowning Statistics:
Approximately 10 people drown every day in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and more than one in five fatal drowning victims are children younger than 14. Only 13 percent of kids who come from a non-swimming household will ever learn to swim, according to a national research study by the USA Swimming Foundation and the University of Memphis. African American children drown at a rate nearly three times higher than their Caucasian peers, the CDC reports.
Drowning is also a silent killer; most young children who drowned in pools were last seen in the home, had been out of sight less than five minutes and were in the care of one or both parents at the time, according to the Present P. Child Drowning study.
About USA Swimming Foundation:
The USA Swimming Foundation serves as the philanthropic arm of USA Swimming. Established in 2004, the Foundation works to strengthen the sport by saving lives and building champions–in the pool and in life. Whether we're equipping our children with learn-to-swim skills through our Make a Splash initiative, or providing financial support to our heroes on the U.S. National Team, the USA Swimming Foundation aims to provide the wonderful experience of swimming to kids at all levels across the country. To learn more, visit www.usaswimmingfoundation.org
About Make a Splash: Make a Splash is the national child-focused water safety initiative of the USA Swimming Foundation, which aims to provide the opportunity for every child in America to learn to swim. To date, the Foundation has invested millions of dollars to provide grants to qualified Local Partner learn-to-swim programs, to spread national awareness and to bring together strategic partners to end drowning. To date, more than 1.8 million kids have received the lifesaving gift of swim lessons through our Local Partner network, comprised of more than 600 qualified lesson providers across the nation. To learn more, visit www.makeasplash.org
About Phillips 66:
Built on more than 130 years of experience, Phillips 66 is a growing energy manufacturing and logistics company with high-performing Midstream, Chemicals, Refining, and Marketing and Specialties businesses. This diverse portfolio enables Phillips 66 to capture opportunities in a changing energy landscape. Headquartered in Houston, the company has 13,500 employees who are committed to operating excellence and safety. Phillips 66 had $51 billion of assets as of March 31, 2013. For more information, visit www.phillips66.com