Thursday, September 1, 2016

Can't Swim? It's Likely Economic

My grandgirl can swim with the best of 'em.
Here's a subtle economic statistic (according to the USA Swimming Foundation and the University of Memphis):
  • 40 percent of American white people can't swim.
  • 60 percent of Hispanic-Americans can't swim.
  • 70 percent of African-Americans can't swim.
It is a matter of opportunity and economics, plain and simple. Learning to swim requires access to water--usually a pool, river or a lake--and not many poor people, regardless of color, have that.

My friend Annette Patterson, a champion swimmer and coach in Roanoke, is doing something about the difference with her swim team, based in an African-American neighborhood, using a city-owned pool. Merchants and individuals help with expenses (uniforms, goggles, fees, etc.).

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