Is your family anticipating the upcoming Summer Olympics? Are they ready to begin guessing who will take home the medals? 24/7 MOMS is gearing up for some Olympic fun and has teamed up with USA Swimming/SwimToday.org to keep us in the know of the latest happenings, activities and information regarding team USA. To kick off our teaming up with them we participated in a exciting conference call with two Olympic Swimmers along with additional ladies from USA Swimming
- Karen Linhart, USA Swimming Public Relations and Social Media Director.
- Jamie Fabos Olsen, Marketing and Brand Development Director, USA Swimming.
- Lindsay Mintenko, National Team Managing Director, USA Swimming, gold medalist in swimming in the 2000 Olympics and gold and silver medalist in swimming in the 2004 Olympics.
- Emily Silver, Athlete Relations and Family Program Manager, USA Swimming and a silver medalist in swimming in the 2008 Olympics.
During our call I discovered several new things:
First: that SwimToday.org is an amazing online resource that provides us moms with a full website that provides all the information we need need to begin getting our kids involved in the sport of swimming.
- Wondering where your kids can take swimming lessons or join a swim club you can find 100′s of locations across the country searching on SwimToday.org By entering your zip code or city.
- Wondering what your kids swimming abilities are? SwimToday.org offers a swimmer quiz that self-assess ones abilities.
- Ready to begin train as a swimmer then you will love the Speedo Pace Club. You can choose how you want to train and it will assist you in reaching your goals.
- There is also information about the Make a Splash program which partners with local swimming lesson providers to teach kids to swim even if their family can’t afford the cost of lessons.
Secondly: I discovered the THREE key reasons to get my kids involved in Swimming as a sport
1) SAFETY – 2) FITNESS - 3) SOCIAL
Safety-Drowning is the 2nd-leading cause of accidental death for kids 1-14 . Swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 80%
Fitness- Swimming is a whole-body exercise , A low-impact sport, it is a life-long fitness option
Social – As an individual sport, swimming teaches work ethic and goal-setting . As a team sport (swimming is both!) swimming builds social skills and teamwork
Third - I got a sneak peek at the process it took to build the 2012 Summer Olympic pool – and now you can watch this fun video and see for yourself the process.
We ended our informative call with a question and answer time which resulted in more great tips and helpful answers – here are just a few I thought might interest you as moms:
Q: At what age should I start teaching my child to swim?
A: Most places that offer swim lessons begin when the child is six months old, but there are places that do “Mommy and Me” classes as an introduction to water at an even younger age.
Q: How can I give my child the confidence to swim without arm floaties?
A: USA Swimming advocates against flotation devices, because they can give kids a false sense of security. Try to avoid any kind of flotation aid, and get your child in swimming lessons. There is no substitute for professional swimming instruction, and instructors are trained to help kids with their fear of the water and help them acclimate to the water at their own pace.
Q: What are the expenses for swimming lessons and team swimming?
A: It varies by location and club, but a full session of swim lessons (approximately 8 lessons) generally costs about $50. USA Swimming partners with about 525 participating clubs nationwide on their Make a Splash charitable effort, which provides every child in America with the opportunity to learn to swim. Swim clubs on SwimToday.org with a water drop next to their name provide a designated number of swimming lessons for free or at a discounted cost. The distribution of free or discounted lessons is club-dependent, and you can ask your local club about it directly. If expense is a concern, visit SwimToday.org and enter your ZIP code to find out if a swim club in your area is a Make a Splash partner. More about Make a Splash: http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=2092&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en
Q: What are the health benefits of swimming?
A: Swimming is one of the best all-around exercises out there for toning your body. It is better for your knees than running, and it’s very good for your cardiovascular health. In addition, being active generally sets a good example for kids.
Q: How can we support the swimmers involved in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials June 25 – July 2?
A: Tweet using the #SwimToday hashtag, follow @USA_Swimming on Twitter (where you can also find Twitter IDs for U.S. swimmers competing in the Trials), encourage your friends and family to watch the trials and cheer the athletes on, and host Olympic watch parties using Splash Bash resources from USA Swimming: Click here to read more about Splash Bash
Support the US Olympic Swimmers:
Follow and tweet using the #SwimToday hashtag
I hope you will join us here at 24/7 MOMS as we count down the days to thee Summer 2012 Olympics – be sure watch the Team Trials on TV as a family the perfect way a great way to gear up for the Olympics…and your kids summer swimming lessons.
*I wrote this post in partnership with The Motherhood and USA Swimming. All opinions are 100% mine.