TAMPA — When it comes to learning how to swim, it is never too early to start — especially in Florida.
During the week of March 9-12, the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCAs will be offering free water safety classes for beginning swimmers and nonswimmers between the ages of 3 and 12 years old. The classes are free and will be taught by certified swim instructors.
Tampa YMCA Aquatics Director Amanda Walker emphasized the need to take advantage of the program, which is available to members and nonmembers alike.
“The Tampa YMCA is committed to providing this free program annually in the spring to keep kids safe at the beach, the pool and while boating.”
The Tampa Y has been offering the free classes for several years, and they always occur during spring break for Hillsborough County public schools. Known as “Splash Week,” the program has proven to be a big success. The classes focus on water familiarization, pool rules, water safety rules, safe water entry and exit, front and back floating and paddling and personal rescue skills.
Only nonswimmers and beginners are permitted. YMCA membership is not required, but pre-registration is requested since space is limited at all locations. Participants must bring their own swimsuit and a towel. The classes will be held all four days with morning and evening sessions. Times vary according to each YMCA branch.
Walker said that the program really benefits those who can’t afford private swim lessons.
“Splash Week is a community outreach program that focuses on teaching children how to be safe in and around the water,” she said. “Particularly for youth from undeserved communities who might have access to swim lessons.”
For more information on the Hillsborough YMCA’s offering Splash Week, call:
♦ Northwest Hills Family YMCA (813) 249-8510
♦ Bob Sierra Family YMCA (813) 962-3220
♦ Campo Family YMCA (813) 684-1371
♦ Bob Gilbertson Central City YMCA (813) 229-9962
♦ North Brandon Family YMCA (813) 685-5402
♦ East Pasco Family YMCA (813) 780-9622
♦ Plant City Family YMCA (813) 839-0210
♦ South Tampa Family YMCA (813) 839-0210
♦ New Tampa Family YMCA (813) 866-9622