COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. –
USA Swimming Foundation, the philanthropic arm of USA Swimming, announced today its partnership with Toyota, Hennepin County (Minnesota), YMCA of the North and the Sherriff’s department of Hennepin County to bring free swim lessons to families in underserved communities throughout Hennepin County.
Through Mobile Swim Lessons Powered by Toyota, safety equipment, swim lesson instructors and lifeguards will be transported to designated low-income apartment complexes with swimming pools. According to a USA Swimming Foundation study conducted by the University of Nevada Las Vegas and the University of Memphis, 79% of children in families with less than a $50,000 income have little to no swimming ability.
With this program, children who reside in low-income complexes will have the opportunity to learn the lifesaving skill of swimming during the summer or after school this fall, thus reaching those who may not otherwise take swimming lessons due to lack of transportation. Through Toyota’s sponsorship of the program, the USA Swimming Foundation and Toyota can cover the price of transportation and provide swim lessons for up to 500 children through vehicle leases and sponsorship fees.
“We’re proud to be a part of this initiative and help bring not only swimming lessons and water safety to low-income communities, but also provide these children the opportunity to learn about swimming,” said Dedra DeLilli, group manager, sponsorship, integration & activation, Toyota Motor North America. “At Toyota, we believe that when given the opportunity and resources, one can truly accomplish anything. Our hope is that these children feel more confident and safe around water thanks to the Mobile Learn to Swim program.”
“The YMCA is committed to saving lives through water safety programs and education,” said Glen Gunderson, president for the Y. “We are excited to partner on the Mobile Swim Lessons program with the USA Swimming Foundation, Toyota and Hennepin County so we are able to offer this program free of charge so all can access life-saving lessons and skills.”
“Once again our friends at Toyota have stepped up to help when we needed them most, and we are extremely grateful for their generosity,” said Shana Ferguson, chief commercial officer for USA Swimming. “There is glory in winning competitive swim medals on the global scene, but there is dire need for providing access to swim lessons for those who need them locally. Toyota has figured out how to help us do both in their own unique way. We are humbled by their continued engagement with our sport and our communities.”
The USA Swimming Foundation has a network of more than 1,500 swim lesson providers across the country. To learn more about the programs supported by the USA Swimming Foundation, visit https://www.usaswimming.org/foundation