Benjamin Hair – Just Swim For Life Foundation

Waterproofing Communities, Saving Lives

What is the mission of the BH-JSL?

The mission of the BH-JSL is to promote aquatic safety by funding programs that train Water Safety Instructors and teach basic swimming and water safety techniques.

Will BH-JSL be partnering with USA Swimming's Make A Splash Program?

We expect all members of the BH-JSL to also be a local partner of Make a Splash first and then to use Make a Splashto make water safety more visible in our local community. As of July 7, 2010, the City of Charlottesville Park and Recreation is a certified Make a Splash Local Partner, and will receive funding from BH-JSL to hold water safety courses.

Who can receive funds from the BH-JSL?

As adequate funds are developed, the BH-JSL plans to support any organization that supports its mission within the scope of its guidelines and policies. This could include, but not be limited to, Jefferson Swim League teams, USA Swim Teams, YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, Schools, Community Centers, and for-profit fitness centers. 

I have heard that young children under 5 are at high risk of drowning. Will you be addressing this issue?

YES. The BH-JSL's "train the trainers" program will fund the training of new Water Safety Instructors and Water Safety Instructor Trainers (or their equivalents). By dramatically expanding the availability of instructors with these advanced certifications, the BH-JSL will be providing the community with a valuable new resource for teaching young people, including those 5 years of age or younger, how to swim safely. It is expected that these additional instructors will partner with numerous clubs and organizations to develop new and expanded programs to teach swimming. Over time and with expansion of our donor base, we plan to directly fund programs that teach younger children to swim as well.

Will BH-JSL address adults who cannot swim?

YES. Just as the BH-JSL will support programs for young people with its "train the trainers" program, so will the BH-JSL's funding support adults who have never learned how to swim. By dramatically expanding the availability of instructors with these advanced certifications, the BH-JSL will be providing the community with a valuable new resource for teaching ANYONE, including adults, how to swim safely. As additional funding becomes available, we hope to directly fund programs that teach adults to swim as well.

 

Is there a particular "at risk" group that BH-JSL will be focusing on during its first years?

We will first look to the 8 to 12 age group as this group is the most "at risk" to never learn to swim, but the mission of the JSL and BH-JSL will be to expand awareness about the importance of water safety and the need to learn to swim for all ages. The BH-JSL is a child-focused water safety initiative, however by helping fund the training of Red Cross Water Safety Instructors in each of the JSL pools we also expect to teach adults water safety and how to swim.

What is the relationship between the JSL and BH-JSL?

The JSL and the BH-JSL share the mission of providing a healthy, challenging, and rewarding growth experience through swimming for children and adults. The Jefferson Swim League does this by assuring its participants have fun, learn the fundamentals of swimming, learn teamwork, sportsmanship, and put forth their best effort in the sport of swimming. The Benjamin Hair Just Swim for Life program provides the additional dimension of training the community in water safety. By partnering together, the two organizations exhibit the important qualities of teamwork, participation in life of the community, and accepting the important challenge and opportunity of assuring that our friends and neighbors are safe around the water. At its June 20, 2010 Board of Directors Meeting, the JSL Board unanimously voted to partner with the BH-JSL to further promote their related missions. JSL and BH-JSL will share leadership positions in their mutual organizations.