TUPELO – Adults who can’t swim or are scared of water have an opportunity to check out the new Tupelo Aquatic Center while becoming acquainted with the water next weekend.
The H2OK event will fall between Adult Learn to Swim Month (April) and Water Safety Month (May).
According to a Center for Disease Control survey, 37 percent of American adults can’t swim the length of a standard pool. Tupelo Aquatic Club board member and event organizer Ann Blair Huffman said she wants to make sure that portion of the community becomes comfortable in the water so they can learn to swim, take advantage of the benefits of water fitness and help their children and grandchildren learn to swim.
“The city has done a good job teaching first- and second-grade children to swim but now we need to help adults,” Huffman said. “If I’m a mother and afraid of water, my child’s not going to have as good of an experience.”
The May 3 course will get adults who are afraid of or unfamiliar with the water into the center’s shallow heated pool.
“We’ll have volunteers working with and just visiting with the participants one-on-one to get everyone comfortable,” Huffman said. “The research I’ve seen says adults need about 20 to 30 hours in the water learning to just trust it before they can really do swimming lessons. This will be two hours toward that.”
She said participants will stay in shallow water during the course, from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., visiting and participating in shallow-water activities.
“A community where everyone gets some sort of physical exercise is a healthier community overall,” she said. “I would love for everyone to know there is an activity for everyone in town to use at that pool. You can be active in the water from birth to the grave. There are so many physical and safety benefits of being able to swim and being comfortable in the water.”
Anyone who wants to sign up for the course can do so by calling (662) 840-3768 by Thursday. The event is free but requires registration.