Free Safety Around Water Lessons Resume at the YMCA of the Suncoast
The YMCAs of the Tampa Bay area and Florida Blue Foundation are resuming free Safety Around Water lessons next month. Thanks to a generous grant from the Florida Blue Foundation, during the week of Aug. 3-6, Tampa Bay area children can receive free water safety lessons at YMCA of the Suncoast locations.
YMCA of the Suncoast Aquatics Director, Lisa Warren, says knowing how to at least get out of the water if a child were to fall in is an important water safety tip.
“One of our main skills that we teach in our water safety program is jump, push turn, grab. And that’s basically trying to mimic if they fell in, they would touch the bottom of the pool, turn around and grab the wall that’s closest to them,” Lisa says.
Thanks to the generosity of the Florida Blue Foundation, the program is free and open to all beginners and non-swimmers, 3-12-year-old, in the Tampa Bay community. During the 4-day course, certified instructors teach kids a sequenced set of skills that will reduce the risk of drowning and give them confidence in and around water. Participants must be present on the first day of class and bring their own swimsuit and towel. A YMCA membership is not required; however, due to limited space, pre-registration is required at participating Ys.
As with all YMCA programs and services, the Y follows guidance from the CDC and government officials to create a safer environment and ensure the highest standards of cleanliness and appropriate accommodations for social distancing.
In 2019, the collaborative Safety Around Water effort taught nearly 8,000 kids water safety lessons. This year’s grant expands the Y’s Safety Around Water program to nearly 30 Y locations in the Tampa Bay area. Other participating Y associations include the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA, YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg, Manatee Family YMCA and SKY Family YMCA. Contact your local Y for more specific locations and schedules.