Olympians to host Make a Splash Day for Atlanta Youth in December 2008
Olympians Cullen Jones, Eric Shanteau and Brooke Bennett will teach over 200 Atlanta-area children about the importance of water safety at “Make a Splash Day,” on Friday, Dec. 5. The event is being held in conjunction with the 2008 ConocoPhillips USA Swimming Short Course National Championships
at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center. The event will feature a series of activities including a free swim clinic and meet-and-greet session with the Olympians prior to the night’s exciting finals sessions.
More than 200 children from the Atlanta area are slated to attend the Make a Splash Day -- among them, children from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta who have been participating in the Make a Splash-Atlanta pilot program, which launched last year.
“We’re thrilled to go back to Atlanta, where this program has found such success,” said Chris LaBianco, of the USA Swimming Foundation. “To have so many kids getting in the water and receiving quality learn-to-swim training is a great measure of success. Atlanta is a fantastic model of the impact that Make a Splash programs can have on communities across the country.” Among Friday’s highlights:
Make a Splash
- Jones, a gold-medal-winning member of the men’s 400m freestyle relay in Beijing will speak to the kids about the importance of water safety, and about being an African-American swimmer.
- Shanteau, a local Olympic hero from Lilburn, Ga., will speak on the importance of overcoming obstacles and going after your dreams.
- Bennett, a three-time Olympic gold medalist, now specializes in nutrition and personal training. She will speak to the youth about the importance of health and fitness.
- All three Olympians will get in the pool for hands-on swim training with the over 200 children.
is the national child-focused water safety initiative created by the USA Swimming Foundation. Make a Splash operates by aligning the nation’s top learn-to-swim resources in an effort to save lives. In April of 2008, USA Swimming commissioned a national, first of its kind research study through the University of Memphis that found that approximately six out of 10 African-American children are unable to swim, nearly twice as many as their Caucasian counterparts. Similarly, 56% of Hispanic and Latino children are unable to swim. The USA Swimming Foundation is actively working to break this cycle by providing the resources to teach these children how to swim through its Make a Splash initiative.