From USRowing.org, By Allison Frederick:
USRowing has teamed up with Diversity in Aquatics, a nonprofit organization dedicated to water safety education, to create the Aquatics Safety Awareness Campaign, the organizations announced on Thursday.
The Aquatics Safety Awareness Campaign is an ongoing partnership to expand a nationwide water safety effort. Diversity in Aquatics recently released a study indicating that approximately 60 percent of African-American and Hispanic youth have no basic swimming skills. In 2007, records show there were 3,443 fatal unintentional drownings in the United States. Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children ages one to 14 years old.
"Education is a major key to a safe sport,” said USRowing Chief Executive Officer Glenn Merry. “As we create a more inclusive environment for our sport, we will need to address the various experience and comfort levels new populations have to the water. This partnership positions USRowing with the leaders in aquatic safety and will enable greater reach for our sport into new communities."
“In partnering with Diversity in Aquatics, it’s our hope to expand the effort of water safety education clinics and integrate those programs into our currently-established nationwide America Rows tour, which targets over 25 major cities across the country,” said USRowing’s Inclusion Manager Richard Butler. “The Aquatics Safety Awareness Campaign will also help drive USRowing’s mission to diversify the sport of rowing.”
According to Butler, a major obstacle for minority youth and adults who want to row is being comfortable in water, knowing how to swim and understanding water safety. The goal of the campaign is to create water safety awareness and education to help decrease both fatal and non-fatal swimming accidents, which includes informing parents of the importance of swim lessons.
“We are very excited to establish this partnership with USRowing and look forward to promoting water safety and awareness in cities across the U.S.,” said DAP Co-Founder Jayson Jackson.
“After partnering with USRowing on a few different events this summer, it only seemed logical to make the next step and increase our activities together in fighting this pandemic,” said DAP Co-Founder Shaun Anderson.
In the coming weeks, educational materials will be distributed to USRowing’s 1,100 member organizations and 15,000 individual members, as well as to Diversity in Aquatics affiliates extending into more than 140 countries.
For more information about Diversity in Aquatics, visit www.diversityinaquatics.com.