Paragon Awards                           Presented By

USA Swimming Foundation

2016 Paragon Award / Aquatic Safety


The USA Swimming Foundation serves as the philanthropic arm of USA Swimming. Established in 2004, the Foundation works to strengthen the sport by saving lives and building champions---in the pool and in life. Whether equipping our children with the life-saving skill of learn-to-swim through our Make a Splash initiative, or providing financial support to our heroes on the U.S. National Team, the USA Swimming Foundation aims to provide the wonderful experience of swimming to kids at all levels across the country.


In 2007, the USA Swimming Foundation launched the Make a Splash initiative as a national child-focused water safety campaign, which aims to provide the opportunity for every child in America to learn to swim through Make a Splash, the USA Swimming Foundation partners with learn to swim providers and water safety advocates across the country to provide swimming lessons and educate children and their families on the importance of learning how to swim. The USA Swimming Foundation has invested more than $4 million dollars to provide grants to qualified Local Partner learn-to-swim programs, to spread national awareness, and to bring together strategic partners to end drowning. To date, more than 4 million children have received the lifesaving gift of swim lessons through the USA Swimming Foundation Make A Splash Local Partner network, comprised of more than 780 qualified lesson providers across the nation. It is our goal, by the end of 2017, to have 1 million children participating in swim lessons through our local partner network each year, and we are making great strides towards reaching this milestone.


In addition to the Local Partner program, the USA Swimming Foundation seeks to raise national awareness about the importance of learning to swim. Each year, the Foundation embarks on national awareness tour. Having recently completed its sixth year, the Make a Splash Tour presented by Phillips 66 visits cities across America to spread the learn-to-swim message among children, families and communities.


With the help of our USA Swimming Foundation Ambassadors and National Team athletes, the Tour has enhanced publicity and expanded the reach of the Make a Splash campaign to a wide audience of parents, learn-to-swim providers, educators and community leaders. The Tour has received extensive media exposure in outlets such as Sports Illustrated, the Today Show, HBO Real Sports and more. The Make A Splash Tour has made stops in cities such as St. Louis, Portland, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Albuquerque, Ft. Lauderdale, Houston, New Orleans, Des Moines, San Francisco, Memphis, New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago, with 2016 stops in Phoenix, the Houston area and Atlanta.

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