U.S. Olympic gold medalist Jessica Hardy (Long Beach, California) will be participating in the 19th Annual Big Swim Benefit, which is a fundraiser designed for New York City kids ages 6-12. The event is scheduled for Saturday, May 3 at the Asphalt Green’s AquaCenter in New York.
"I am excited to be a part of the Asphalt Green Big Swim this year. It is an awesome event that offers free swim instruction and water safety training to NYC school children,” said Hardy. “This opportunity helps a cause near to my heart. Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional deaths for kids under 14. I had a near-drowning experience myself as a 3-year-old, so having the opportunity to give back to change the fate of children at this event is very exciting. I will be doing my part to raise money for this cause, and to promote the sport that I love so dearly."
During the event, Hardy will be partaking in various activities happening throughout the day. These activities include: an Olympic Exhibition featuring synchronized swimming and diving; an athlete meet; and crafts opportunities. The London 2012 Olympic Games gold medalist will also be signing autographs and posing for pictures.
Children who are participating at the benefit will have a chance to experience the thrill of a real swim meet. Upon completion of a 25-yard freestyle race, kids will receive a finisher medal, a swimming cap and a souvenir t-shirt.
With a mission dedicated to “assisting individuals of all ages and backgrounds achieve health through a lifetime of sports and fitness,” Asphalt Green is a non-profit organization that pushes community service and programing at the core of its purpose and vision.
Proceeds collected during the Big Swim Benefit will go to support Asphalt Green’s Fit Kids Fit City campaign. The goal of the campaign is to help transform the lives of 30,000 New York City schoolchildren by providing free community programs including a learn-to-swim program called Waterproofing.
Hardys’ appearance at the Big Swim Benefit is part of USA Swimming’s Athlete Partnership Program. The program is a platform for a National Team swimmer to encourage kids and adults to take up the sport as a healthy and positive activity. These appearances directly promote the sport and the healthy lifestyle it represents. To find more information about how to get started in the sport, visit SwimToday.org.