Did you know Richmond, VA is one of the top River Towns in America? Yet, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the number 2 leading cause of accidental death in children ages 1 to 14. Ten people drown every single day and 50% of the U.S. population does not know how to swim. ACCESS to aquatics is the driving force behind these staggering statistics.
SwimRVA has expanded, once again, its effort to provide aquatic ACCESS throughout the greater Richmond region. Now operating in three different locations, including Petersburg, Hopewell, and North Chesterfield, SwimRVA will teach over 1,500 second grade students this year to be water safe with the Learn to Swim program and the Drownproof Richmond Campaign. Even more impact is the newly learned aquatic skills empowering each child with another tool to stay active for life.
The 2016 fall session of the Learn To Swim program witnessed 434 students progress through various stations in the SwimRVA Learn-To-Swim program. When the program started, over 82% of these students had little to no swimming ability. At the end of the program, 56% of the children had learned the crawl stroke.
The Learn-To-Swim program offers a seven lesson SwimRVA Swim School program to second graders throughout the region. SwimRVA provides transportation, lifeguards, swim coaches, swim caps, bathing suits, and Richmond’s top aquatic professionals. SwimRVA’s goal is to ensure ACCESS for every child to lifesaving swimming programs that will give them the tools to be active, healthy, and fit for the rest of their lives.
January 2017 marks the start to the winter session of the SwimRVA Learn to Swim program. Here is a quick look at the winter session enrollments:
- Virginia State University
- North Elementary: 46 students
- Harrogate Elementary: 94 students
- ENON Elementary Children with special needs class: 13 students
- Hopewell Community Center
- ENON Elementary: 82 students
- Greenfield Elementary: 80 students
- OB Gates Children with special needs class: 8 students
- Falling Creek Children with special needs class: 9 students
- Salem Church Elementary: 88 students
- Banner Christian School: 12 students
Overall, 432 students gaining ACCESS to aquatic development through the Learn To Swim program. Since beginning the program in 2012, SwimRVA has taught over 30,000 free swim lessons. The learn to swim program has expanded to middle and high schools working with 18 different schools throughout the region. Together, the Richmond region is building a safer, healthier, and more vibrant community.
SwimRVA has been making waves in the Richmond community for the past five years. The mission is to empower and improve the Richmond region with aquatic activity. In 2016, SwimRVA launched the SwimRVA Autism Swims program, providing critical ACCESS to aquatics for those who are most vulnerable.. SwimRVA Wellness has added 30,000 annual wellness opportunities for active adults to live young at the Collegiate School Aquatics Center, over 2,400 aquatic therapy sessions, and creates over $5,000,000 annually in economic impact through tourism.