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Jackson kids learn to swim thanks to annual program

Jackson kids learn to swim thanks to annual program

100 black men organize water sports courses

As summer rolls by, dozens of kids are spending time in the pool learning to swim. The water sports program is sponsored annually by 100 Black Men of Jackson. Barnett Taylor, the organization’s past president and current water sports director, said the main goal of the program is to teach young children to swim, but also to give them something fun to do this summer. “The kids … they’re having a really good time, but at the same time they’re learning something that’s going to become a fundamental skill for them,” Taylor said. The Sunkist Swim Team is back to help with the program. “I recently learned that Mississippi has one of the highest rates of drowning, so I could actually have a lot of influence on that rate of drowning,” said Chelsea Bould with the Sunkist swim team. Sunkist swimming coach Mathew Mixon said the program gives children the opportunity to learn to swim – something they might never have had otherwise, since grandma and grandpa can’t swim, whoever is in the household the kids are less likely to learn be,” Mixon said. “We’re excited to be a part of it and hope to break that cycle.” The program not only teaches children to swim, but also gives them the opportunity to go far with a future in the sport. “I just think it’s nice to know that we’re setting them up to move on in life and maybe even get into college swimming,” Bould said.

As summer rolls by, dozens of kids are spending time in the pool learning to swim.

The water sports program is sponsored annually by 100 Black Men of Jackson. Barnett Taylor, the organization’s past president and current water sports director, said the main goal of the program is to teach young children to swim, but also to give them something fun to do this summer.

“The kids … are having a really good time, but at the same time they’re learning something that’s going to become a fundamental skill for them,” Taylor said.

After surviving a pandemic last year, the program is back in full swing this summer. The Sunkist Swim Team is back to help with the program.

“I recently learned that Mississippi has one of the highest rates of drowning, so by learning I could have a big impact on that drowning rate,” said Chelsea Bould of the Sunkist Swim Team.

Sunkist swimming coach Mathew Mixon said the program gives children the opportunity to learn to swim – something they might never have had otherwise.

“There are statistics that if mom or dad can’t swim or grandma and grandpa can’t swim, whoever’s in the household, there’s a lesser chance the kids will learn it,” Mixon said. “We’re glad we can get on board and we hope to break that cycle.”

The program not only teaches children to swim, but also gives them the opportunity to go far with a future in sports.

“I just think it’s nice to know that we’re setting them up to move on in life and maybe even get into college swimming,” Bould said.

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