Goggles for Guppies
Athletes Working to End Childhood Drowning in America
One child drowns every minute somewhere in the world. Goggles for Guppies supports the efforts of international humanitarian organizations who fight to end childhood drowning worldwide.
Source: International Life Saving Federation
Story of the Swim Benin’s Swim Instructor Training
Dan Airth, an English teacher from Seal Beach, California, got the idea to teach African youth to swim when doing laps at the local pool in Cotonou, Benin. Noticing the kids watching him swim from the shallow end, one time he approached a group and taught an impromptu swim lesson. After that experience, he knew he had to find a way to make his idea a reality.
Returning from Africa, Dan launched Swim Benin, a nonprofit with the mission of training qualified swim instructors in Benin. His story was published on the front cover of his community paper, The Seal Beach Sun. After receiving donations and support from his community, he decided to return to Benin in April to hold a swim instructor training there.
Focusing on training five outstanding candidates who were recruited by Dan’s former school, the instructor training was based upon a curriculum developed by Starfish Aquatic Institute. Although Dan had been a competitive swimmer, Starfish also provided the motivation for him to be trained as a swim instructor in a week-long course in San Diego. Also helping was Felix Uzor, a UK-trained swim instructor from Ghana, who lent his expertise and his cross-cultural insight.
Over the course of 8 days, more than 60 children participated as students for the new instructors. Goggles for Guppies donation of 100 swimsuits and goggles were given to the children, many of whom had never had a real swimsuit before. Dan also met with the President of the Benin Swimming Association and donated swimsuits to the members of the Beninise swim team. The team put on swim exhibition for the swim instructors which featured one Beninise swimmer who participated in the 2008 Olympic Games.
By going back to Benin and training enterprising swim instructors there, Dan hopes that one day all Beninise children will grow up swimming.
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