ANN ARBOR – The Ann Arbor YMCA has received an $80,000 grant from the Women’s Sports Foundation and Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation to start a new swim program for underserved girls in eastern Washtenaw County.
Called the Young Women Making Waves Program, it will aim to improve the girls' swimming proficiency and self-confidence. Girls with no swim experience prior to the program will get opportunities like lifeguard certification, competitive swimming and potential employment for those who excel to an advanced level.
On June 1, the early stages of the program will launch. Once it is fully operational, classes will be held two to three days a week during the school year for 35 weeks and for six weeks during summer break.
Claressa Shields, Olympian and Flint native, presents the grant check to the Ann Arbor YMCA (Courtesy: Ann Arbor YMCA)
Enrollment is for one year and will expose the students to a curriculum that starts with basic water safety skills and progresses to competitive swimming opportunities.
As proficiency in swimming improves, the program will expand to competitions and synchronized swim lessons.
Participants who are 16 years of age or older who are strong swimmers will qualify to take part in lifeguard training, and upon receiving certification, will be able to apply for part-time lifeguard positions at the Y.
For more information about this program, contact Becky Epstein, Ann Arbor YMCA aquatics director at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-661-8020.