Peter Rudd and Kari Baranieski from the Across the Lake Swim Society, with a Grade Three class of program participants from Watson Road Elementary. photo: Contributed

Okanagan YMCA works to prevent drowning

A donation allowed the YMCA Okanagan Swims program to teach 2,800 kids how to swim

The YMCA Okanagan Swims Program has been working hard to prevent drowning in the Okanagan.

Last year, the Across the Lake Swim Society invested another $40,000 that helped provide swim lessons to 2,800 children.

The YMCA of Okanagan Swims program was established in 2012 to ensure elementary aged children from School District 23 have equal opportunity to master the basic swim skills needed to be safe in and around the water. The program is funded, mostly due to the generosity of the Across the Lake Swim Society, and is free for every Grade Three and Four student between Peachland to Lake Country.

“Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children under the age of 15,” said Peter Rudd, race director of the Interior Savings Across the Lake Swim Kelowna.

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“With the abundance of lakes, rivers and private pools in the Okanagan, it is our commitment to help prevent water-related injuries and fatalities. By participating in our swim events, you are helping fund this program that ensured almost 3,000 children last year learned lifesaving water safety skills.”

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“This program saves lives,” said Randall Wight, YMCA senior aquatic manager. “The Across the Lake Swim Society is showing tremendous leadership by enabling the YMCA to help a generation of kids understand the importance of water safety. Our collaboration demonstrates a shared commitment to keeping children from our community safe.”

The Interior Savings Across the Lake Swim Kelowna, Canada’s largest and longest running open water swim, will be held on July 20.

To register visit www.acrossthelakeswim.com

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