FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM JUNE 28, 2018 • THE QUEENS COURIER 91
Summer is here at last … so
why aren’t you swimming yet?
BY SHAWN SLEVIN
I am still astounded by the overwhelming
number of people I speak to on a daily
basis that don’t know how to swim!
The American Red Cross conducted
a survey and discovered that nearly half
of American adults cannot swim (their
definition for the purpose of the survey
“adults should be able to float or tread
water for about a minute. Then be able to
turn yourself so you can orient to a position
of safety then you swim at least 25
yards and then get out of the water,” said
Connie Harvey a Water Safety expert of
the American Red Cross).
Why is this still the case? Yes, the statistics
are scary. In the U.S. on average,
every day, 10 people die due to drowning.
Drowning is the second largest cause of
death for children ages 14 and younger,
with kids of color drowning three times
more than their Caucasian peers.
Amazingly, drowning is the leading
cause of death for children 5 and younger,
with many of those tragedies happening
in and around their very own homes.
And on a global scale, drowning is the
second largest cause of death for children
5 and under, period.
On the flip side, swimming is one of the
most beneficial activities you can do all of
your life! It is the best cardio/pulmonary
and skeletal friendly exercise bar none.
It’s a total body workout, working every
muscle group, but with low impact.
Embracing swimming as part of your
exercise regime will help you avoid
chronic health issues like obesity, heart
problems and diabetes. From a cosmetic
point of view, swimmers rarely look anywhere
near their actual ages. It is the true
fountain of youth.
The benefits of taking the skill to a competitive
level certainly transcend the pool.
Swimming is a sport that challenges the
individual, for the benefit of the team. As
a member of a community-based swim
team advancing through participating as
an elite swimmer on a national team,
you will learn self-discipline, goal setting,
commitment, teamwork, perseverance,
resiliency, organizational and leadership
I often speak with educators from the
primary school level through post graduate
levels who reflect that competitive
swimmers do very well academically.
Why? Because it takes a laser-like
focus, self-discipline, and the organizational
skills needed to multitask so that
you can successfully manage your time to
swim multiple workouts during the day
while going to school, doing homework
and in some cases also going to work.
Naturally, these skills will benefit the individual
from their academic life into their
careers, family lives and into the community
Strong swimming skills enhance your
life in many ways. Once you have them,
you can explore 32 other water-based
sports. In some cases (water polo, competitive
swimming and diving, rowing)
there are college scholarships available.
In other cases, like surfing … not
so much! However, each sport is both
physically and mentally challenging and
you will meet people with similar interests
and significantly expand your social
circle. There are also career opportunities
available in the aquatics industry,
the military, hospitality, sports and
entertainment fields that utilize these
So, why are you waiting? For those living
in NYC with all of our waterfront
communities certainly water safety and
swimming skills should be mission number
one. For safety, health and recreation,
there is nothing like it. The younger you
start, the better but it’s never too late to
learn to swim.
Swim Strong Foundation provides
affordable and highly personalized Learn
to Swim lessons year young. Registration
is open now for July/August classes at
Specialized bootcamps and other water
based sport clinics are led by elite national,
international and Olympic swimmers
for competitive swimmers throughout
the year. Registration is via our website
Water Safety + Swimming Skills = LIFE
Shawn Slevin is the Founder of Swim
Strong Foundation, a 501c3, not-for-profit,
saving and changing lives through
water safety and affordable swimming
skills programs in New York City. www.