The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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June 19, 2014

Swim clubs help spread awareness

CLINTON — Swimming clubs across the world on Friday will hold a mass swimming lesson. Clinton’s own River City Aquatics club will join in the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson, to help build awareness about the importance of teaching children how to swim.

“If it gets three or so more kids to learn how to swim, that’s great,” said Ross Burns, from River City Aquatics.

Area residents are invited to the Clinton High School pool for a mass swim lesson beginning at 10 a.m. Pools, water parks and other aquatic facilities around the world will meet at the same time in attempt to break a Guinness World Record.

“The message of the world’s largest swim lesson is swim lessons save lives,” said Liz Hoffman, one of the new coaches for RCA.

According to the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson website, drowning is the second leading cause of unintended, injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14. Hoffman said swimming is especially important for Clinton, as a river community.

A trained and certified swim coach, lifeguard and instructor for almost four years, Hoffman joined RCA at the beginning of the year. The club has two other new coaches: Leigh Cushing and Mark Van Osdel. A long-time swimmer, Hoffman was impressed with the club, as well as the high school’s aquatic facilities.

“They have a reputation for being a small, very family-friendly club with, of course, a great facility,” Hoffman said.

Swimming is an important part of Hoffman and her family’s life, with all five of her children participating in the activity. Hoffman enjoys swimming as a family and believes it is important to teach her children this skill.

“It’s a life-long sport,” Hoffman said. “Once they have those skills it’s something they can participate in their whole life.”

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