Oklahoma City Program Teaches Kids Swim Safety


Tuesday, April 9th 2019, 6:50 pm
By: Clayton Cummins


A metro swimming program is teaching children not just how to swim but also what to do in the case of an emergency.

YMCA locations across the Oklahoma City metro offer students Safety Around Water (SAW) training, a program in place for over a decade.

Second grade students from Jon Rex Elementary took part in the training Tuesday at the Edward L. Gaylord Downtown YMCA.

It didn’t take much convincing for many kids, like Ethan Govin, to jump in the water and swim. Govin was among over a dozen students learning how to swim.

“If you want to have fun, you should be safe like jump in with your feet first or don't just slide in the water and get all crazy,” Govin said. “You should always have someone watching you.”

1,600 students a year take part in the SAW program at the YMCA.

“We talk about how to be safe around water, how to not get in without grown-ups, what to do if you fall in and some basic swimming skills to help them get back to the side,” Bryan Wilcox, Aquatics Director at Edward L. Gaylord Downtown YMCA, said. “It’s kind of in preparation for summer swimming.”

It hasn't taken long to apply these skills in your life. Children have had to help one another in the exact same pool they learned in.

“We've seen that happen in real time and they (kids) actually grab another kid that might have needed help. That's an incredible feeling to see that a kid was able to do something because of something they were able to learn through this program,” Wilcox said.

Independence in the water is invaluable. It's never the wrong time to learn how to swim.

“We just want to make sure that they get the opportunity to learn how to do it safely,” Wilcox said.

Swimming lessons are available all year long at YMCA locations. Lessons are $45 for non-members, even cheaper for members.  For more information click here.

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