A CBC News survey of more than 1,000 Canadians found that while the average adult swims at least twice a week, many Canadians are missing out when it comes to catching a swim.
“There are more people that aren’t getting a chance to swim because they can’t afford to and that’s really frustrating,” said Rachel Lebovitz, executive director of the SwimSafe Swim Program.
“And that’s because of a lack of accessibility,” she said.
Lebovitzer says there are several reasons for the high number of people that cannot swim, and the main culprit is poor access to recreational pools.
“We know that the accessibility issues that we see are related to accessibility of pools,” she told CBC News.
The program is in the early stages of expanding its reach to other parts of Canada.
In Quebec, for example, there is a program called Le Sport Swim, which is similar to the Swim Safe Swim program.
“It’s a community-led initiative,” Lebivitz said.
“The people that we are trying to reach are the people that are not able to afford to pay for a pool.
It’s a really important issue for us to be addressing.””
We’re looking at the whole population and how we can make it accessible, whether that’s through a program or a sponsorship.”
Lebivitzer says the most significant thing the program is doing right now is educating people about how to get in the water safely.
“People are learning how to swim safely and that can make a difference in their ability to get into a pool,” she explained.
The organization has also developed a new website called SwimSafeSwim, which offers advice on how to safely get in a pool or how to find the best swimming spot.
Lebsitt says the program has had some success in reaching people that have had difficulty accessing a pool, but that the organization is working to expand to more communities in the future.
“Our focus right now right now for us is to make sure that we have the resources and the resources to get these people swimming safely and then hopefully, eventually, they can make the transition to a pool for themselves,” she noted.
“But right now, that’s not an option.”
In the meantime, Lebavitz says the organization will continue to reach out to other pools to increase the number of pool users.
“This is just the beginning,” she stressed.
“We have a long way to go.
But the biggest thing right now we are really trying to focus on is getting people in the pool.”
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