While the group enjoyed lunch (and the kids played and colored), USA Swimming Chief Marketing Officer Matt Farrell welcomed everyone and introduced SwimToday, the organization’s program created to educate families about the #funnestsport: swimming.
“[We’re] taking on the misperceptions and inviting families to enjoy how much fun it is to be part of a team. We’re going to change the mindset, one mom at a time if need be, to share why parents should have their kids give swimming a try. It’s a life-long, non-contact sport for everyone and SwimToday makes it even easier to find where kids of any ability level fit.”
Matt introduced 5-time Olympic swimmer and swim mom Dara Torres, who talked about the benefits kids get when joining a swim team, including:
- it’s a sport in which everyone participates
- it’s a team sport
- hardly any equipment is needed (a swimsuit, cap, and googles are all it takes)
- it’s easy to learn
- there’s a low risk of injury
- it’s great fitness (burns 650 calories in an hour)
- it’s something you can do throughout your life
- swimming is fun
“Being a part of a swim team is one of the most fun and most rewarding experiences a child can have. I’ve benefitted from the sport’s values in every aspect of my life and that’s why my nine-year old daughter is a swimmer,” said Torres. “It’s also why I’m so passionate to share with other parents and invite them to understand what the sport has to offer. Once they know, more parents will have swimming at the top of their lists.”
Dara also provided tips for parents of hesitant swimmers (put goggles on them, even the youngest kids learning to swim, so they can see what’s under water) and explained how the SwimToday.org site is a great resource for parents to find swimming pools and swim teams in their area.
Following a behind-the-scenes tour of the National Championships to watch swimmers from around the country warm up and compete, the kids got in the water with Dara for a once-in-a-lifetime experience: a swimming lesson with an Olympic champion. USA Swimming National Team Managing Director and decorated swimmer Lindsay Mintenko joined Dara to help teach the kids.
It was an unforgettable day for all, spent with an Olympic champion, learning to love the #funnestsport of swimming.
Many thanks to Colleen Pence from San Antonio Mom Blogs for covering the event for Momtrends and providing many of the great photos in this post.
Disclosure: This event was sponsored by USA Swimming. Thank you for a once in a lifetime unforgettable experience!