A Message from Alan C. Hostrup, President and CEO of YMCA: Metropolitan, Los Angeles
~Happy (early) Halloween,
While I love a good scare, the statistics I recently learned are frightening.
Living in Southern California where beaches, lakes and pools are so accessible, I was shocked that, in our communities, 70% of African-American and 60% of Latino children cannot swim. You may share my surprise to read that if a parent doesn’t know how to swim, there’s also a 13% chance a child in that household will not learn either. I truly believe this is why providing swim instruction to all of our neighbors – especially those in Los Angeles’ urban communities – is one of our organization’s top priorities.
Our dedication to providing pool access and proper swim instruction dates back to 1908 when the Y gave LA its first indoor swimming “bath.” You may also know the Y is responsible for inventing group swim lessons, which we continue to offer at all LA Y branches that house a pool. I’m proud we’re able to add two more facilities to that list with the completion of brand new indoor pools at Wilmington YMCA and Ketchum-Downtown YMCA.
It was a collaborative effort to bring these important community resources to fruition, so we held special ceremonies at Wilmington YMCA and Ketchum-Downtown YMCA to celebrate these milestones.
On October 4, we were honored to have Olympic Medalist and World Record Swimmer Jessica Hardy teach youth swim clinics at our Wilmington YMCA’s pool grand opening. One of the greatest lessons Jessica imparted on our young swimmers is that it’s crucial for everyone to learn how to be safe in and around the water, no matter your age. Knowing how to swim can be the difference between life and death.
Even if you already know how to swim, do all of your family and friends know too? Join our mission to educate Angelenos about water safety by sharing our LA Y’s Aquatics Programs schedule.
Take a moment to ask those you love if they are water safe, and, remember, our friendly, professional swim instructors are here to help. Please don’t wait. It’s a question that can save a life.
Alan C. Hostrup
President and CEO
YMCA OF METROPOLITAN LOS ANGELES