COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Swimming and longtime partner Phillips 66 today announced the three cities that will comprise this year’s Make a Splash Tour.
In the first in-person Tour since 2019, the Make a Splash Tour, presented by Phillips 66, will visit Philadelphia (May 9 and 10), Pennsylvania; Borger, Texas (May 18); and Rodeo, California (May 23) to raise awareness around the importance of learning to swim. To reinforce this message, USA Swimming has enlisted the support of USA Swimming Foundation Ambassadors and Olympians Rowdy Gaines, Cullen Jones, Missy Franklin, Elizabeth Beisel and Nathan Adrian to help educate the public about the importance of this lifesaving skill.
“I am always thrilled to be a part of the Make a Splash Tour, but this year more than ever,” Two-time Olympic medalist Beisel said. “We are finally returning to in-person tour stops and will be face to face with the children of our communities, teaching them valuable lessons and lifesaving skills that come along with swimming. To have the opportunity to give back to the sport that means everything to me gives me immense purpose in life and I am beyond happy to be a small part of this amazing tour where we will change lives and impact communities.”
Jones, a four-time Olympic medalist noted: “It’s not too late but make the choice today! Helping others learn the importance of swim lessons is one of my life’s missions. Nearly drowning myself, I understand how intimidating the water can be, but it doesn’t have to be. That’s why I’m excited to be back on the road with the Make A Splash Tour - back in person, showing, teaching and sharing not only the importance of swimming, but that swimming is for everyone.”
The USA Swimming Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the USA Swimming, and Phillips 66 have collaborated for nearly 50 years to promote water safety and education. The Make a Splash Tour traditionally takes place every spring, bringing USA Swimming Foundation ambassadors and Olympic medalists to cities across the country to educate children, parents, communities and civic leaders on the importance of learning to swim. Over the past two years, these efforts continued through a virtual campaign focused on water safety in the home as well as how lessons could safely take place with COVID-19 precautions in place. With the summer months upon us and the reopening of pools and beaches, enrolling in swim lessons should be a top priority as families head back to the water.
Drowning claims the lives of approximately 3,500 people per year, with nearly 25% being children under the age of 14. The problem is particularly amplified in ethnically-diverse communities, where the drowning rate is almost three times the national average, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Formal swimming lessons can reduce that risk for children by 88%.
Claudia Kreisle, Director of Social Impact for Phillips 66, also emphasized the importance of water safety. “Safety is at the center of Phillips 66’s operations and culture. We recognize the importance of this critical, life-saving skill and are committed to working with the USA Swimming Foundation to raise awareness around water safety and teach children to swim.”
But it’s not just children who should learn this important skill. Last year the USA Swimming Foundation began a partnership with U.S. Masters Swimming to create lasting generational impact by bringing support for youth and adult learn-to-swim programs under one umbrella. If a parent doesn’t know how to swim, there’s only a 19% chance that a child in that household will learn how to swim, according to a 2009 study by Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, and more than one-third of American adults can’t swim the length of a pool, according to the CDC.
USA Swimming Chief Administrative Officer and Executive Director of the USA Swimming Foundation Lucinda McRoberts added: “Learning to swim is a life-saving skill, and we are so appreciative of Phillips 66’s continued support to increase water safety awareness in communities across the country. The USA Swimming Foundation Ambassadors are excited to visit pools and help teach children and adults how to be safer in and around the water.”
To find a swim lesson provider near you or for more information, please visit www.usaswimming.org/makesplash. Information on youth and adult learn to swim programs is included, as well as which programs offer free or reduced-cost swim lessons.
Since 1973, Phillips 66's contributions have supported the USA Swimming community through National Championships and other international competitions, publication of sport development materials, and many additional endeavors. The Make a Splash Tour, which the company has sponsored since the program’s inception in 2009, is a natural extension of its dedication to safety.
To inquire about interviewing USA Swimming Foundation Ambassadors, please email Jessica Delos Reyes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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