This summer, The Gateway Family YMCA encourages children and parents in Eastern Union County and Northern Middlesex County to explore the many benefits of swimming, while also keeping safety top of mind. In Y swim programs, participants can enjoy water sports, enhance or learn new techniques, meet new friends and develop confidence, while also learning safety skills that can save lives.
“Swimming is not only a fun, healthy activity, but an important life skill for all children,” said Krystal R. Canady, CEO, The Gateway Family YMCA. “Learning basic water safety skills is a great introduction to the world of swimming that often continues with swim lessons and competitive swim programs, and can even lead to a career,” added Melynda A. Mileski, EVP/COO.
The Y encourages parents to take an active role in fostering a relationship between their children and swimming—beginning with water safety. Following are safety tips to practice when in and around the water:
• Only swim when and where there is a lifeguard on duty; never swim alone.
• Adults should constantly and actively watch their children.
• Inexperienced or non-swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
• Parents or guardians of young children should be within an arm’s reach.
• Children and adults should not engage in breath holding activities.
In addition to learning lifesaving water safety skills, children can increase their physical activity by swimming. Swimming also motivates children to strive for self-improvement, teaches goal orientation and cultivates a positive mental attitude and high self-esteem. It also teaches life lessons of sport and sportsmanship, so that children can learn how to work well with teammates and coaches and how to deal with winning and losing.
As a leading nonprofit committed to youth development, the Y has been a leader in providing swim lessons and water safety for more than 100 years. The Gateway Family YMCA continues to help youth and adults experience the joy and benefits of swimming, so they can be healthy, confident and secure in the water. There are a variety of programs to choose, including swim lessons, family swim, safety around water and competitive swimming. To ensure that everyone has an opportunity to participate, financial assistance is available to those in need in the local community.
To learn more about The Gateway Family YMCA’s swim programs, visit www.tgfymca.org or contact the Five Points Branch 908-688-9622 or Rahway Branch 732-388-0057.
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