WILBERFORCE, Ohio (WDTN) — Knowing how to swim is a skill that can save a life — yours, or someone else’s.
The members of one local chapter of a national sorority are making it their mission to help people be safe in the water with a free swim clinic coming up in less than two weeks.
Carla Jones is one of those members. She is passionate about having confidence in and around the water.
“Me and my husband we taught our kids how to swim when they were you know infants so now that they’re grown and older, they have no fear of, you know, jumping off the diving board,” Carla said.
She says knowing how to swim is about safety, but it’s also about not missing out on the small things.
“Having that fun time and splashing in the water and in the sun, and just enjoying all things of life,” Carla said. “You know it’s an important life skill.”
Unfortunately, it’s a skill that many people lack.
Every day, approximately 10 people die in the US from drowning, according to the CDC.
That’s why Carla’s sorority — Sigma Gamma Rho — partnered with USA Swimming to start a free swim clinic called Swim 1922.
“We want people to be a little bit more confident and comfortable with the water, especially people in the African American community,” Carla said.
And for good reason: the minority community is most at risk of drowning as 70 percent of African American children and 60 percent of Hispanic children in the US don’t know how to swim.
“You have some people that are like so afraid of being even near a pool or near the ocean and we want to change that mentality,” Carla said.
She says Swim 1922 is open to everyone, young or old, no matter your race. There’s one message they want to get across:
“It’s okay to get in the water and learn how to swim,” Carla said. “It’s okay also to not be as fearful around water.”
These events are held nationwide, but this particular event, put on by the Epsilon Kappa Sigma chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho will be one of the largest in the central region.
It will take place on Saturday, Sept. 16 at Central State University’s main campus. If you’d like to attend, email firstname.lastname@example.org.