A new agreement between USA Swimming Foundation and Starfish Aquatics Institute (SAI) expands an existing partnership, bringing the two organizations in closer collaboration.

Per the arrangement, all Starfish Swimming and PADI Swim Schools operated by SAI are recognized as USA Swimming Foundation Make a Splash Local Partners.

Because the agreement builds on an existing relationship, it allows them to combine resources, officials said. The USA Swimming foundation will have access to SAI's global network of clients, allowing Make a Splash to reach large private waterparks, private swim schools, camps, educational institutions, and many others using SAI programs, according to Leslie Donavan, president/CEO of Starfish Aquatics Institute.

The Make a Splash initiative was created by the USA Swimming Foundation to provide all children the opportunity to learn how to swim, regardless of their circumstances.

“The Starfish Aquatics Institute is very excited about our new relationship with the USA Swimming Foundation and the Make a Splash initiative,” said Jennifer White, chief operating officer and swim school specialist at SAI. “We charter signatories to the initiative and have always strongly supported it. This will enable all SAI clients to participate in Make a Splash from day one, when they adopt the Starfish Swimming or PADI Swim School curriculum.”

This closer relationship also will bring more resources to SAI Swim Schools, including materials, marketing support, and eligibility for grant funding through the USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash annual grant fund. Grant funding is awarded to support swim lessons for children without access to learn-to-swim programs.

“Learning to swim is a critical life-saving skill, and the first step for anyone to enjoy the aquatic environment and aquatic activities for life,” said USA Swimming Foundation Executive Director Debbie Hesse. “It is our goal to provide 1 million swim lessons through our Make a Splash Local Partner network in 2017 and this partnership will affect the lives of thousands of children in communities across the nation.”

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