USA Swimming Foundation Announces Make a Splash Bridge Program Winners

Photo Courtesy: USA Swimming Foundation

In an effort to bridge the gap between swim lessons and team swimming, the USA Swimming Foundation launched the Make a Splash Bridge Rewards Contest and awarded six Make a Splash Local Partners a total of $10,000 to help transition children from learn to swim programs to competitive swim teams.

“The USA Swimming Foundation is proud to support programs which help to strengthen the relationship between Learn to Swim providers and USA Swimming teams across the country,” said Debbie Hesse, Executive Director of the USA Swimming Foundation. “We aim to provide the opportunity for every child in America to learn to swim, and in doing so we open the door to a lifetime of opportunities, such as being a part of a USA Swimming team.  You never know, we could have a future Olympian on our list of newly registered USA Swimming members!”

Entrants in the program were active Make a Splash Local Partner swim lesson providers and the winners were determined based on the percentage of summer swim lesson participants who graduated to and registered with USA Swimming teams. Award monies will be used for programs to strengthen relationships between the Make a Splash Local Partner swim lesson provider and their area USA Swimming teams.

Make a Splash Bridge Rewards Program Winners:

$5,000 Grand Prize: DeKalb Aquatics Swim Team (Decature, GA)
$2,500 Runner-up: Kidz Aquatic (Canoga Park, CA)
$1,250 3rd place: DC Department of Parks and Recreation Aquatics (Washington, DC)
$750 4th place: Swim Strong Foundation (East Elmhurst NY)
$500 each, 5th place tie: North Providence Pool and Fitness Center (North Providence, RI) and Galveston Island Swim Team Lessons (Galveston, TX)

An additional $500 will go towards celebration parties for the USA Swimming team programs with whom children from the winning programs registered.

In addition to the winning programs listed above, this year’s Bridge Rewards Contest saw a total of 140 submissions representing 4,595 children who graduated from Make a Splash Local Partner swim lesson programs to USA Swimming teams.

The USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative aims to provide the opportunity for every child in America to learn to swim – regardless of race, gender or financial circumstances. It is the nation’s pre-eminent learn to swim initiative, with more than 850 Make a Splash Local Partners nationwide who provide swim lessons and educate children and their families on the importance of learning how to swim. Since 2007, over 4.9 million children have learned the critical life-saving skill of swim lessons through the Make a Splash Local Partner swim lesson provider network. Thus far, the USA Swimming Foundation has provided more than 4.4 million dollars in grants to Local Partners in support of free and low-cost swimming lessons nationwide.

For more information please visit

Press release courtesy of USA Swimming.

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Author: David Rieder

David Rieder is the host of Swimming World TV and a staff writer for Swimming World. A contributor to the magazine and website since 2009, he has covered the NCAA Championships, U.S. Nationals, Olympic Trials as well as the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the 2017 World Championships in Budapest. He is a native of Charleston, S.C., and a 2016 graduate of Duke University.

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