A Swimming Family


Carla Smyl got lucky with her firstborn. Maia-Joyce learned how to swim at age three, thanks to swim lessons at the South Tampa Family YMCA’s Carol Kennedy Aquatic Center. “From her lessons at the Y, she can swim 25 yards utilizing any of the four strokes, tread water for one minute or more and can use a flotation device,” shares Carla. “Maia-Joyce is now six years old and we are proud she is a competent and confident swimmer. She is eagerly awaiting the day she attains the required height to use the pool slide.”


It’s a different story for Carla’s 4-year-old son, James. “While Maia embraced the idea of swim lessons, James did not,” recalls Carla. “It took many patient afternoons before he would enjoy the 30-minute lesson. This wasn’t an easy time but we were determined that he have the skills.”


The family’s determination stems from a harsh reality. “With Hillsborough County being in the top list for drowning statistics, we were determined to equip both children with the necessary tools to be strong swimmers,” says Carla.


With the help of some private lessons, James is starting to turn around. “James is currently working on perfecting his freestyle stroke and beginning to work on his backstroke and he loves his swim lessons now,” testifies Carla. “Another season of swim is upon us and we are looking forward to getting back into our routine.”


Not to be left out, Mom is jumping in the water as well. “I participated in the adult swim sessions,” shares Carla. “Their progress motivated me to get in the pool and get more comfortable. Soon, Maia-Joyce and I are going to start swimming laps together!”


At the Y, we teach all ages how to swim, so they can stay safe around water and learn the skills they need to make swimming a lifelong pursuit for staying healthy. Whether you start at an early age, like Maia-Joyce, or take a while to warm up to swimming, like James…or decide to strengthen your skills as an adult, like Carla – it’s never too late to learn life-saving skills. Register today!

Pictured above: James Smyl takes both group and private swim lessons at the South Tampa Y.

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