Free Swim Lessons for New Swim Students



When it comes to water, one-year-old Ava Bittner is fearless. “Her older friend is able to swim because he took swim lessons,” explains Ava’s mother, Elissa. “And she thought that she could just follow him and jumped into the pool just like he did.”


Fortunately, Elissa was there to prevent anything from happening. But the scare motivated her to sign Ava up for swim lessons at the Northwest Hillsborough Family YMCA. Turns out, she’s benefitting from the classes just as much as Ava. “The parents get to learn some water safety tips too,” shares Northwest Y Aquatic Experience Director Lauren Brun. “We talk about life jackets and sun safety; or how to do rescue breathing or CPR on your child if something were to happen at home.”


Starting next week, more families will receive water safety lessons for free – thanks to the generosity of the Tampa Bay Rays Foundation and United Way Suncoast. The Tampa Y is offering a free 3-week Safety Around Water session to kids who have never tried Tampa Y swim lessons before. Twice a week, from May 21 until June 7, certified instructors will introduce new swim lesson participants to water safety skills that could save their lives.


In honor of National Water Safety Month, the free Safety Around Water program is open to anyone in the community, ages 3-12 years, who has never enrolled in Y swim lessons before. During the free 3-week session, children will learn a sequenced set of skills that will reduce the risk of drowning and give them confidence in and around water. A YMCA membership is NOT required; however, pre-registration is required due to limited space. Times vary based on Y location. For more information, click here or contact a participating Y to pre-register.

Above: A Safety Around Water class in action at the Northwest Y.

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