This February, the USA Swimming Foundation announced that it has awarded $898,184 to learn-to-swim programs across the country through its 2022 grant program – the largest ever dollar amount awarded through its grant program for swim lesson providers. A gift of $200,000 from Step Into Swim, an initiative of the Pool & Hot Tub Foundation (PHTF) committed to safer swim education and drowning prevention, along with an additional $80,000 approved by the USA Swimming Foundation Board of Directors, helped bring youth learn-to-swim grant awards to the largest amount in USA Swimming Foundation history.
The USA Swimming Foundation, the philanthropic arm of USA Swimming, vetted 184 youth grant applications through a competitive annual review process, selecting 102 programs across 29 states to receive $763,184 in funding as part of its 2022 grant program for swim lesson providers. These grants will support youth programs offering free or reduced-cost swim lessons, providing an estimated 19,870 children with the opportunity to learn how to swim.
A strong advocate of USA Swimming Foundation, Step Into Swim’s donation helps the Foundation continue to save lives and build champions.
Rowdy Gaines, a three-time Olympic gold medalist and VP of Partnerships and Development for PHTA, said that the more awareness brought to the importance of swim instruction, the more lives saved.
“Learning to swim from a qualified instructor drastically reduces the risk of childhood drowning by 88 percent,” Gaines said. “Step Into Swim is proud to collaborate with an organization like the USA Swimming Foundation, whose efforts to support learn-to-swim programs is important, life-saving work.”
For the first time, the USA Swimming Foundation has also awarded grant funding to programs that focus on adult learn-to-swim efforts, granting $135,000 to 39 adult learn-to-swim programs across 22 states, providing an estimated 2,007 adults the opportunity to learn how to swim. Earlier in 2021, U.S. Masters Swimming (USMS) moved its fundraising efforts for adult learn-to-swim programs from its Swimming Saves Lives Foundation to the USA Swimming Foundation, bringing all learn-to-swim fundraising efforts under the USA Swimming Foundation. U.S. Masters Swimming continues to own and administer adult learn-to-swim curriculum and certification for instructors, as well as provide resources to programs offering adult lessons throughout the United States.
The USA Swimming Foundation works to strengthen the sport of swimming by raising funds to support programs that save lives and build champions. To learn more about the USA Swimming Foundation, including how to find a learn-toswim program in your area and grant opportunities, visit www. usaswimming.org/foundation.
Since its inception, the Step Into Swim program has provided nearly 300,000 children with free swimming lessons.
To learn more about this initiative, visit www.stepintoswim.org.