Athlete appearances, school visits, and a water safety festival were just a few of the things happening in Southern California as the USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash Tour presented by Phillips 66 kicked off on Thursday, May 29th.
Over three days, USA Swimming Foundation Ambassadors met with various media outlets and members of the Long Beach and Los Angeles community to spread the Foundation’s message of saving lives by talking about the importance of learn-to-swim in conjunction with the Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative.
Olympic Gold Medalists and Foundation Ambassadors Nathan Adrian and Janet Evans began the first day of the sixth annual tour with a three-hour Satellite Media Tour. Evans and Adrian shined as they spoke with 19 different city and national outlets about the importance of learn-to-swim and the Foundation message of saving lives and building champions. Evans, a Southern California resident and mother of two, was able to speak on the importance of parents getting their children into the water and learning about water safety. Adrian, who began learn-to-swim at an early age, talked about the importance of getting children to swim and being comfortable in the water as early as possible.
Evans made yet another appearance alongside swimming legend and fellow Olympic Gold Medalist, Rowdy Gaines on the Good Day LA show. The Olympic duo spoke about their work spreading the word and about the educational reach that the USA Swimming Foundation and Phillips 66 have provided to change the staggering statistics of swim proficiency.
At the same time, Adrian continued to spread the word on a series of nationwide radio interviews.
On Friday afternoon, May 30th, Adrian, Evans, Gaines, and Olympic Gold Medalist Anthony Ervin hosted an event at Dr. Julian Nava Middle School in Los Angeles to connect with the children and invite them to the water safety festival on Saturday.
The main event of the weekend, held on Saturday, May 31st was the swimming and water safety festival held at the Long Beach Belmont Plaza Pool. Over 1000 people attended the event which included water safety talks by Gaines, Evans, and Ervin as well as by Olympians Jessica Hardy, Chloe Sutton, and Jason Lezak. In addition to the appearances, the Olympians helped conduct free swimming lessons and autograph sessions for the children in attendance. There were kids activities, a water safety challenge and over 20 informational booths.
75% of the almost 200 kids who took swimming lessons and participated in the Safer 3 Water Safety Challenge had never taken a formal swim lesson before that day.
The USA Swimming Foundation also hosted a donor lunch for donors, potential donors, Phillips 66, and Myrtha Pools. Athletes met with the individuals and provided a presentation on the USA Swimming Foundation’s work and participated in a question and answer session.
Over the past 10 years, the USA Swimming Foundation has raised over $16 million in support of its mission to save lives and build champions. Over 2.3 million children have taken swim lessons through the Make a Splash Local Partner network and there are over 600 Local Partners nationwide.
For more information about the USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative and the 2014 Make a Splash Tour presented by Phillips 66, visit: www.usaswimmingfoundation.org/makeasplash