The National Swimming Pool Foundation has launched a 10-year campaign to expand swim lessons for children, adults, and minorities.

The Step into Swim campaign seizes on the health benefits of swimming and how it can help reduce soaring health care costs.

“Becoming a swimmer gives people a suitable activity that leads to a healthier society, reduced healthcare costs and prevents drowning,” said Tom Lachocki, Ph.D., CEO of the National Swimming Pool Foundation.

Aquatic–focused entities and the public are asked to donate to the campaign. Nine organizations have signed on as initial partners. They are: YMCA of the USA, Jewish Community Centers, U.S. Swim School Association, World’s Largest Swim Lesson, Miracle Swimming Institute, Strategies for Overcoming Aquatic Phobias, American Red Cross, Make a Splash Campaign, and Swim America. These organizations will form the Step into Swim Congress, which will present proposals to expand swim lessons.

NSPF has released a white paper summarizing data that illustrates the importance of uniting for such a campaign. It outlines the societal benefits of teaching more people to swim. These include reducing healthcare costs linked to obesity. The Colorado Springs, Colo.-based nonprofit will officially kick-off the campaign, along with representatives from the partner groups, at the 9th Annual World Aquatic Health Conference in Norfolk, Va. this October.