Kimberly Gill: Swimming lessons have taught my child so many valuable skills

‘His safety in and around the water is very important to me’

Kimberly Gill and Basil. (WDIV)

DETROIT – My dad was a great swimmer. He was known in my small-town pool growing up as Clifford “Fish” Gill.

He wanted me to be a good swimmer too. While I eventually learned to swim as a young adult -- I am not anything like the ‘fish” he was in the pool. Swimming was a lifelong passion for my dad.

Now that I have my own child, I understand why he wanted so badly for me to learn this life-saving skill. I’m sure safety was the biggest reason, but swimming also teaches you so many other valuable skills.

Read: How the color of your child’s swimsuit could help save their life

Basil is three and loves the water. He has taken swimming lessons since he was 18 months old. We’ve done mom and me classes, Infant Self Rescue classes and a few private lessons.

He’s still working out the coordination involved with holding his breath, but he will splash around during open pool time for hours if I would allow him.

I invest a lot of time and money in so many swim classes because his safety in and around the water is very important to me.

According to the CDC, Black children are almost six times more likely to die from drowning than white children. I don’t want him to be a statistic.

Not only is swimming a life-or-death skill to learn. Learning to swim also teaches self-discipline and confidence. You should have seen Basil’s face when he learned to finally float for 10 seconds on his back.

Like me, he is somewhat reserved around new people. I can see how swimming has already improved his social skills -- skills that will hopefully benefit him in multiple areas of his life and a skill he will have a lifelong passion for, just like my dad.

About the Author:

Kimberly Gill joined the Local 4 News team in November 2014. She was named Personality of the Year in 2009 by the Ohio Broadcasters Hall of Fame. She’s also a two-time Emmy winner.