Water safety a priority as Canada’s Swim Team launches getswimming.ca

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Source: Swimming Canada

OTTAWA – Four national organizations are partnering to launchGetswimming.ca, the online home of the first ever Canada-wideinitiative to teach every Canadian child to swim.

Swimming Canada, the Canadian Red Cross, Lifesaving SocietyCanada and the Canadian Medical Association have joined forces toform Canada’s Swim Team. Canadians young and old who enjoythe many benefits of swimming can join the team atgetswimming.ca.

“Swimming Canada is proud to be launching Getswimming.ca withthese three great organizations,” said Chris Wilson,marketing and events director for Swimming Canada. “Of courseevery child that learns to swim is a potential recruit, but muchmore importantly they become more safe around water, more fit andmore confident. We all benefit from a goal of teaching everyCanadian child to swim.”

Any Canadian who loves to swim or wants to learn can join andhelp create the World’s Largest Swim Team. It’s free tojoin and members will receive a regular newsletter and have accessto prizes, contests and event tickets.

Canada’s Swim Team encourages every Canadian to learn toswim. The goal is for every child in Canada to be able to swim 25metres non-stop before completing elementary school. Each year,Canadian children drown from not knowing how to swim or not beingsufficiently supervised. The vast majority of incidents of drowningor near drowning are preventable.

“Basic swimming ability is a fundamental requirement inany meaningful attempt to eliminate drowning in Canada,” saidEd Bean, communications director for the Lifesaving Society.“Learning to swim when you’re young gives you alifesaving skill for life.”

“The Canadian Red Cross is thrilled to be involved withthe launch of Swimming Canada’s Getswimming.cainitiative,” said Shelley Dalke, manager, national swimmingand water safety programs for the Canadian Red Cross.“Drowning is the second leading cause of preventable deathfor children younger than 10, but recent Canadian Red Crossresearch shows only 3 per cent of children who drowned in Canadawere identified as strong swimmers. Swimming lessons save lives,and are particularly important in cases where a child enters thewater unexpectedly, which is often the case in childdrownings.”

Canada is also facing an epidemic of childhood obesity. Swimmingis one of the best overall exercises for cardiovascular health,flexibility and endurance. Canada’s Swim Team encouragesCanadians to make swimming part of an active, healthylifestyle.

“Canada is a nation of lakes, rivers and three seashores.Ensuring that all Canadian children can swim is critical for safetyand to prevent injury and death by drowning,” said Dr. AnnaReid, president of the Canadian Medical Association.“Swimming also happens to be a tremendous way to getexercise. Initiatives such as getswimming.ca can also help reversethe rising obesity rates in our children. ”

Several announcements will be made throughout the site’sofficial launch day Thursday, including a nationwide contestsponsored by IHG to send four people on a vacation anywhere inCanada or the continental U.S.

Canada’s Swim Team will also be unveiling support from avariety of Honourary Team Captains who will be promoting theinitiative on Twitter throughout the day.

Partners also include the Chicken Farmers of Canada. As theofficial protein of swimming in Canada, the Chicken Farmers ofCanada are sponsoring a Team Kitchen page on the site to promotehealthy eating alongside active living.

About Swimming Canada

Swimming Canada serves as the national governing body ofcompetitive swimming. We inspire Canadians through world leadingperformances to embrace a lifestyle of swimming, sport, fitness andhealth. The federation comprises 75,000 members and 400 swim clubsacross the country. Canadians are global leaders in highperformance swimming and development for both able-bodied swimmersand swimmers with a disability.

About Canadian Red Cross

The Canadian Red Cross is a leader in teaching Canadiansswimming and water safety skills. The Canadian Red Cross has beenhelping to keep Canadians safe in, on and around water since 1946.For more information about Canadian Red Cross Swimming and WaterSafety Programs, or for safety tips, visit www.redcross.ca/swim.

About the Lifesaving Society Canada

The Lifesaving Society – Canada’s lifeguardingexperts – works to prevent drowning and water-related injury.Annually, over 1,000,000 Canadians participate in theSociety’s swimming, lifesaving, lifeguard and leadershiptraining programs. Contact your local pool or visit: www.lifesaving.ca.

About Canadian Medical Association

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice ofCanadian physicians. Founded in 1867, the CMA is a voluntaryprofessional organization representing more than 77,000 ofCanada’s physicians and comprising 12 provincial andterritorial medical associations and 51 national medicalorganizations. CMA’s mission is to serve and unite thephysicians of Canada and be the national advocate, in partnershipwith the people of Canada, for the highest standards of health andhealth care.

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