newswaynesboro y teaches water safety

Waynesboro Y teaches water safety


Two tragic drowning deaths after a 2011 flash flood are still fresh in some Waynesboro residents’ minds.

“That really didn’t have to happen,” said Jeff Fife, the executive director of the Waynesboro Family YMCA, which played host to two local sites taking part in The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson 2012.

The two local sites were among more than 500 spread out across 46 states and 24 countries worldwide taking part in the event, the main aim of which was to raise awareness of water safety and to teach important life-saving skills to children and teens.

Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death for children ages 1-5, a surprising statistic to some.

“We’re really excited about this program. It’s here to help bring awareness to learning how to swim and the importance of learning how to swim. Children today may not be equipped to handle a situation that may be an emergency, and they need to learn to protect themselves,” said Nikki Brown, the relationship director at the Waynesboro Y.

The earlier kids can learn these skills, the better.

“We have a goal in our strategic plan to teach every kid by the age of 13 how to swim, and there are building blocks of how to get to that point. So just the water-safety awareness is A Number One Critical for us,” Fife said. “But we also teach a wide a variety of swim lessons, as well as if folks want to get involved in the year-round competitive swimming, we do it at all different levels, and we really like to get started early.”

More information on the Waynesboro Y is online at



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