January saw major windfalls for the Pool and Hot Tub Foundation’s initiative Step Into Swim with generous donations from Fluidra and Master Pools Guild.
To bring the substantial benefits of swimming to children across all communities with focus in underresourced communities, Fluidra committed $100,000 and Master Pools Guild committed $40,000 to Step Into Swim, a national program dedicated to providing safe swim education.
Through the Step Into Swim initiative, Fluidra and Master Pools Guild (MPG) are able to share their passion for aquatic recreation and make swimming lessons accessible to all children so they can participate in what their companies strive to create — the perfect pool and wellness experience for all.
According to Troy Franzen, President of Fluidra North America, who also serves on the Step Into Swim Champions Board, being able to swim isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity.
“The ability to swim is essential to improving the health and safety of this and future generations, and we are fully invested in the effort to teach people how to swim and be safe around water, regardless of their socioeconomic situation,” Franzen said.
Teri Wiltshire, MPG Executive Director, said they are very excited to be partnering in the Step Into Swim Program with PHTF.
“Creating more swimmers and providing safe swim education are goals we share and believe must be promoted by all our industry,” Wiltshire said.
In 2021, Step Into Swim raised more than $500,000 from the pool and hot tub industry, which provided grants to 22 facilities in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas - funding 6,297 swimming lessons for children in those communities.
Sabeena Hickman, PHTAPresident and CEO, said that thanks to the leadership of key partners like Fluidra and MPG, the 2022 Step Into Swim program is already well on their way to exceeding the money raised just last year.
“Everyone plays a special role in helping us mobilize against an important initiative to provide educational resources and access to free swimming lessons. The future is bright as we continue to build upon this momentum in 2022,” Hickman said.
PHTF and Step Into Swim are currently accepting grant applications from aquatic facilities for 2022, so pool industry members should encourage their communities to apply before March 31. Step Into Swim plays a role in reducing drowning fatalities and has gifted swim lessons to more than 285,000 children with support from community organizations, partners, industry advocates, members, and more.
Donors can support Step Into Swim through tiered funding levels, including the Build A Pool, Save A Life Sponsorship where companies can pledge funds based on the number of pools built or maintenance contracts signed each year. All funds go directly to Step Into Swim programming. Visit www.StepIntoSwim.org for a list of supporters and to learn more about how to get involved.
Step Into Swim, with support from founding partner Every Child A Swimmer, is an initiative of the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance committed to safe swim education and drowning prevention. The initiative provides children with the education and learn-to-swim programming they need to be safer in the water.