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August 26, 2015

New Partnership in Learn-to-Swim Campaign

The USA Swimming Foundation and the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation, a subsidiary of U.S. Masters Swimming, have formed an affiliation of collaboration in support of learn-to-swim and water safety nationwide. This relationship was forged with the organizations’ mutual effort to save lives through swim lessons.

“With the USA Swimming Foundation bringing swim lesson opportunities to children across the country through the Make a Splash initiative and the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation providing opportunities which encourage adults to swim, this collaboration broadens the reach of our Foundation’s learn-to-swim initiatives,” said USA Swimming Foundation Executive Director Debbie Hesse. “Adults who learn to swim ensure their children learn to swim, creating generational change that will reduce drowning rates in the future.”

The affiliation allows the respective organizations to promote the learn-to-swim resources each provides to its members and partners in an effort to increase the number of people who learn to swim.

“This is a natural partnership,” said USMS Executive Director Rob Butcher. “The USA Swimming Foundation is committed to youth, and our Swimming Saves Lives Foundation is committed to adults, and our shared commitment of providing learn-to-swim opportunities will saves lives and lead to a healthier country."

Sobering Drowning Statistics

  • Approximately 10 people drown every day in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with nearly 25 percent children younger than 14
  • 70 percent of African-American and 60 percent of Hispanic/Latino children cannot swim, according to a national research study by the USA Swimming Foundation and the University of Memphis
  • Only 13 percent of children who come from a non-swimming household will ever learn to swim, the USA Swimming Foundation found
  • 37 percent of American adults can’t swim the length of a swimming pool, according to the CDC
  • African-American children drown at a rate nearly three times higher than their Caucasian peers, the CDC reports
  • Drowning is 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 the 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 the life-saving skill of learn-to-swim 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

About the USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash Initiative

The USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative is a national child-focused water safety campaign, which aims to provide the opportunity for every child in America to learn to swim. Through Make a Splash, the USA Swimming Foundation partners with learn-to-swim providers and water safety advocates across the country to provide swimming lessons and educate children and their families on the importance of learning how to swim. The USA Swimming 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 3.4 million children have received the lifesaving gift of swim lessons through the USA Swimming Foundation Make a Splash Local Partner network, comprised of more than 725 qualified lesson providers across the nation. To learn more, visit

About the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation

In 2010, U.S. Masters Swimming created the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation as its charitable arm. The purpose of SSLF is to solicit charitable contributions and provide grants that encourage adults to swim and to provide grants for medical and research initiatives and a broad range of other programs that reinforce the benefit of swimming. The hope is that through the provision of SSLF grants that once an adult learns to swim or improves their swimming skills, they will have the confidence and desire to continue swimming in a Masters Swimming program and experience the lifelong benefits of swimming. Through the generous contributions of USMS members and other supporters, SSLF has awarded more than $200,000 in grants to more than 80 program partners that are providing adult learn-to-swim opportunities. To learn more, visit


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