Access to the Water Changes Lives

SW SPLASHForward in the Water

‘SPLASHForward in the Water’ – A virtual event with Olympians Elizabeth Beisel, Megan (Quann) Jendrick, and Rebecca Soni, Saturday, May 1st at 10 am PST

Written by Susan Pappalardo

Water memories. Since you are reading this, you have them. Playing in the water with friends at the local pool, watching your child learn to swim, going to team practices, or connecting with friends at Masters swim workouts are all fond memories. It has been a little over a year since the progression of learning to swim and playing in the water has been interrupted. For many, pandemic or not, there was never the opportunity to create such water memories or begin a lifetime experiencing the joys of aquatics. One of the main reasons is the lack of access to water.

SPLASHForward, a nonprofit based in the Seattle area, is busy planning for the future to bring new public aquatics facilities to a region that hasn’t seen any new public pools since the 1970s. SPLASHForward is hosting a free one-hour virtual event on Saturday, May 1st for kids, professionally produced by CG Sports Company. The event will feature three-time Olympian Elizabeth Beisel as the event host, Pacific Northwest native and Olympic Gold Medalist Megan (Quann) Jendrick, Pacific Northwest resident, and eight-time Olympic Medalist Rebecca Soni, and appearances by other PNW Olympians like Margaret Hoelzer and Tom Malchow.

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The one-hour event will include a panel discussion with Elizabeth and Megan, a ‘get up and get moving’ segment with Rebecca leading participants in her specially crafted dryland fitness workout (yes, we can all aim to be as fit as an Olympian!), followed by a live Q&A.

SPLASHForward wants to give kids inspiration and hope during a time when much of their typical active lifestyles have changed dramatically. As they envision a new public aquatics facility, they want to create aquatics pathways so that all kids can have the opportunity to learn a skill that could one day save their life or someone else’s. They want to lay the foundation with local school districts and community organizations that includes those that serve the neediest like the Boys and Girls Club of Bellevue and Special Olympics of Washington, creating programs where all kids have equitable access. They even go so far as to envision all kids graduating elementary school knowing how to swim. For a region that is surrounded by water, this makes sense.

SPLASHForward believes everyone deserves the opportunity to learn to swim and reap the benefits of being comfortable and safe in the water. A lifetime of safely enjoying water-based activities improves health and wellness and most importantly, fosters community connection. Aquatics facilities are places where our community crosses paths, grows stronger, and our water memories begin. Water memories can become a platform for learning valuable life skills, building confidence, and reaching for our personal life goals.

To sign up for this free virtual event, register here.

To learn more about SPLASHForward, visit https://splashforward.org/

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