LeBron James Launches Swim Camp With Help From Simone Manuel

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Simone Manuel is teaming up with Lebron James to promote water safety in Ohio; Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Basketball star LeBron James is helping teach children to swim, with some major help from Olympian Simone Manuel, according to a recent feature on ESPN.com.

The program is part of Lebron James’ I Promise School in Akron, Ohio, which hosted their first-ever week-long summer camp focused entirely on swimming. A group of 140 third and fourth graders participated, with 125 of the attendees having never set foot in water before. Each day started with a video message from Manuel, who had also made a visit to the school in March to help announce the program.

Manuel stressed the importance of not only water safety, but accessibility for the students involved:  

“It’s about bringing swimming into a space where it may not be accessible and allowing those children to learn how to swim and save their lives,” she said, adding “it’s really exciting knowing that this is the first time that these children are getting in the pool and playing in the water and getting their first pair of goggles and [maybe] swimsuits.”

Simone Manuel became the first African-American woman to win an individual medal in swimming when she won the 100 free at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and has since partnered with the USA Swimming Foundation and the Make a Splash campaign to promote water safety for kids.

As noted in the article, according to the CDC two children under the age of 14 die from drowning every day in the United States. Additionally, the article notes that 64% of African-American, 45% of Hispanic/Latino, and 40% of Caucasian children have little to no swimming ability.

“I would love to see more minorities in the sport of swimming,” Manuel added, noting that visibility is a key part of not only saving lives, but getting more people involved in the sport.

“Often, African-American children don’t see themselves as swimmers. They see themselves as basketball players or volleyball players or track stars. Introducing the sport of swimming to them not only saves their lives but allows themselves to see the possibility of becoming an Olympic champion like myself. It [could] open the door for a college scholarship in a sport that maybe they didn’t feel like was for them.”

You can read the full article on ESPN here, and learn more about LeBron James’ school here.

39 comments

    • avatar
      Lester calvin Taylor

      Excellent programme i wish something like that can be done in the Bahamas where all the islands have water around them

  1. Jilly Bean

    Come to maryland and specifically Prince-Mont Swim League and see how diverse our league is!! All dream of making it to the Olympics!

  2. Samantha Elyse

    Chrystal Butler i saw that you posted about Lebron’s school’s teat scores and then came across this article so i thought i would share it with you! Miss you girly!

  3. Ithet Cess

    Kenneth Asturiano

  4. Stephen Paul

    king James is the greatest isnt he?

  5. Liz Hudson

    This is outstanding!!

  6. Sari Puzio Carroll

    Robin Taylor, use your magic and get in touch with these two

  7. Rick Razo

    How cool is that

    • Andrea Mele

      Gigi Caiaffa Kean more than half my students can not swim. 🙁
      Our swim coach offers students free swim lessons but they are reluctant to try.

  8. avatar
    robin Taylor

    Come see our program in Atlantic City! We have taught over 500 children in the past year. The classes were free to all Atlantic City Children. Could use really use some help

  9. avatar
    candace moore

    My daughter, 8 yo is a swimmer on a competitive swim team and I need to order this swim cap for my natural hair babe!

  10. Martha Phelan

    So great to hear…everyone should swim!!! 🏊‍♂️🏊🏻‍♀️🏊🏿‍♀️🏊🏽‍♂️

  11. Jim Bowser

    Yes!
    Needed!

  12. Jen Longo

    I would like to join you Simone and help you teach!

  13. Kent Davis

    LBJ for president !

  14. Pamela Galpin Meredith

    The more hands on Deck the better. Thank you to any Celebrity who can lend their name and support swimming!

  15. Liz Hudson

    This is outstanding!!

  16. avatar
    Daisy Hall

    Great article….

  17. avatar

    @jamessica James Sica do you have a recommended contact for that program?
    I’ve been trying on and off to get the same thing on the south side of Chicago here and wondering about their interest in branching out?!
    Thanks