The YMCA and Carowinds Partnership Proves to be a Swimming Success for Water Safety

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Excitement Builds As 15 Young Swimmers Prove They Should Be the First to Ride the All New Water Slides at Carowinds

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We are extraordinarily proud of these kids. Through the Y swim lessons, they’ve significantly improved their ability and confidence in the water and had a lot of fun in the process.

After 36 weeks of instruction, 15 enthusiastic swimmers ages five to ten years old will take their final swim assessment on Tuesday, May 20 at the University City YMCA. Upon successfully demonstrating their skills, the children will be among the first riders on the all-new Dorsal Fin Drop and Surfer’s Swell slides, currently under construction and opening at Carowinds this summer.

The children, affectionately dubbed the Caro Swim Team, didn’t know how to swim when they began weekly lessons at the University City YMCA in September. The lessons were free to participants thanks to a generous donation from Carowinds.

“We’re so excited to see what our Caro Swim Team has accomplished these last few months,“ said Julie Whitted, Carowinds Public Relations Manager. “Our hot Carolina summer is almost here and there’s nothing like knowing how to swim to help a child and their family truly enjoy the pool and waterpark safely.”

Once the slides are completed this summer the kids who pass the swim assessment and meet the height requirement will be the first to splash their way down slides that stand over 4 stories tall, and offer over 500 feet of sliding fun.

The goal of the partnership was to provide an effective, yet rewarding way of reinforcing the importance of water safety and the life-saving benefits of swimming among Charlotte’s youth; particularly for those who could not otherwise afford swim lessons or have access to a pool to learn fundamental water safety.

“We are extraordinarily proud of these kids,” beams Amanda McIntyre, Aquatics Director at the University City YMCA. “Through the Y swim lessons, they’ve significantly improved their ability and confidence in the water and had a lot of fun in the process.”

To safely identify the skill levels of swim program participants, the Caro Swim Team will be required to achieve the Y’s green band level of proficiency which includes:

“Fundamentally, learning how to swim will help keep these kids safe in and around water,” says McIntyre. “Beyond that, I expect to see a lot of triumphant faces as they take their final swim assessment, having worked so hard to achieve their personal best. It will be one of those milestones that they’ll cherish for a lifetime.”

The Caro Swim Team’s assessment also falls within National Water Safety Month, a public safety initiative that advocates for the ongoing education on safer water practices and reinforces the importance of learning to swim.

“I can’t think of a more appropriate time to celebrate these kids – and their parents - for having the courage to move outside their comfort zone and learn to swim,” says McIntyre.

The Caro Swim Team assessment will be scheduled for Tuesday, May 20 at the University City YMCA located at 8100 Old Mallard Creek Road, Charlotte, NC 28262. The main number is (704) 716-6700. The event time will be between 4:40 PM and 5:20 PM. Media representatives are welcome and encouraged to attend. Photo and/or video shoots as well as interviews may be arranged with the swim program kids, their families, YMCA aquatics staff and swim instructors and Carowinds representatives. To arrange a media visit, please contact Molly Thompson, Senior Director of Communication and Public Relations for the YMCA of Greater Charlotte at (704) 716-6238 or via email at molly (dot) thompson (at) ymcacharlotte (dot) org.

About the YMCA of Greater Charlotte

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The YMCA of Greater Charlotte, comprised of 19 Y branches and two resident camps, engages approximately 274,000 men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Deeply rooted in the community for 140 years, the YMCA of Greater Charlotte has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.

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Michelle Guinyard
YMCA Greater Charlotte
+1 (704) 716-6284
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