OTTAWA – From the world of sports to the political arena to the stage, Canadians of all walks of life are joining Canada’s Swim Team.
Swimming Canada launched getswimming.ca today, a new movement in partnership with the Canadian Red Cross, Lifesaving Society Canada and the Canadian Medical Association that encourages Canadians to learn to swim. Any Canadian who can swim or is willing to learn can join Canada’s Swim Team at getswimming.ca.
A variety of prominent Canadians are stepping up as Honourary Team Captains and promoting the initiative on Twitter on launch day. Former world-record holder and Olympic swimmer Annamay Pierse joins many current and former national team members in encouraging Canadians to #getswimming.
“Swimming needs to be a life skill for all Canadians,” said Pierse. “We need to know how to swim to prevent drowning. It is an easily preventable problem and I truly think we as Canadians can conquer the travesty of drowning.”
Other Honourary Team Captains include 1988 Olympic gold medal winning synchronized swimmer Michelle Cameron. But it’s not just athletes who are signing up. The Honourary Team Captains feature well-known Canadians from all walks of life, including Minister of State for Sport Bal Gosal, Sportsnet personality Rob Faulds and multiple award-winning musician Thom Swift.
“Learning to swim is so important and it’s something every Canadian child should have an opportunity to do,” said Minister of State Gosal. “Swimming is such an accessible life skill and a wonderful way to keep healthy and fit.”
“I love to swim and so do all three of my kids. It’s very important they learn. My little guy is four and he swims like a fish, and my nine-year-old and 11-year-old girls are both excellent swimmers,” said Swift, whose third solo album, the Fortunate Few, was released earlier this year.
Many other sports organizations are jumping on board as Honourary Team Captains, including the Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Canadian Interuniversity Sport and the three other aquatic sports: Diving Canada, Synchro Canada and Water Polo Canada.
“On behalf of the entire Canadian Olympic family, I want to congratulate Swimming Canada on this wonderful initiative that will not only help reduce the risk of drowning for our children and increase confidence, fitness, and health but it will also help prepare the next generation of Olympic swimmers,” said Marcel Aubut, president of the Canadian Olympic Committee. “I encourage all Canadians to join Canada’s Swim Team and let’s make our nation the World’s Largest Swim Team.”
“Every Canadian should have the chance to enjoy the benefits of swimming,” said Gaétan Tardif, president of the Canadian Paralympic Committee. “For the safety aspect, along with the chance for fitness, fun and competition, we’d like to encourage all swimming lesson providers to provide accessible lessons to Canadians with a disability. We’re very proud to be part of Canada’s Swim Team.”