From The Grio — One of a parent’s worst fears is to see his or her child drown.
Indeed, research has found that nearly 4,000 Americans drown each year.
Yet to keep this fear from becoming a parent’s reality, instructors of a relatively new program called Detroit Swims are aiming to teach as many children as possible how to swim.
Apart of the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit, the program was created to ease parent’s fears by teaching children how to swim.
According to the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit, nearly six out of ten children within Detroit will never learn how to swim. Additionally, about one hundred thousand children have never gotten into a pool as parents often keep their children away from the pool out of fear that they might drown.
Recently, the program recently offered swimming lessons children from all across Detroit. The lessons featured Olympic Gold Medalist Peter Vanderkaay an instructor.
“Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death in adolescents,” Vanderkaay told theGrio. “It is something that people should be talking about, especially since it is something that is preventable.”
A former Michigander and University of Michigan All-American swimmer, Vanderkaay recently took time out from training to be apart of Detroit Swims. He worked with the program’s instructors to give swimming lessons to more than thirty children from across the Detroit area.
“I wanted to help out since I was home for the holiday and I think [the children] were very appreciative of the program,” he told theGrio. “We got a lot of smiles out of them. Some of the parents even came out and said they learned a lot as well. Everyone had a good time.”
Additionally, Vanderkaay said he was not only excited to have the opportunity to teach the children about the sport that he loves, but he was excited to teach within the state that he grew up. He hopes that more parents will participate in swimming lessons and also get their children involved.