Posted 7:12 AM 6/1/2012 : Tucson teens get their feet wet in water safety instruction
TUCSON- Now that the pools are open, many children will hit the water for a lesson in swim safety. But how do you know if their instructor is covering everything they need to learn?
News 4 Tucson headed out to Catalina Pool to watch 32 teens train to become a Red Cross Water Safety Instructor.
The training involves one week of intense lessons both in and out of the pool. "We practice butterfly, breaststroke, backstroke, everything," 17 Year Old Angeli Myers says.
Myers is used to being around the water. "I fell in love with swim when I was five and I just love being around the pool," Myers says.
By day four of training she had learned everything from how to master each stroke, to how to engage young swimmers. "You have to get their attention, they have to be on the wall, they have to be safe," Myers says.
Once the week wraps up, the teens will be able to teach 14 different swim levels, ranging in age from six months, to adults. "We are always in the top five for childhood drownings in the nation, so the more individuals we can get trained as Red Cross Water Safety Instructors, the more people we can train and the more kids we can train," Tucson Aquatics Director Billy Sassi says.
The program is nationally recognized. Participants must be 16 years or older. Once they pass, they can teach swim lessons for Tucson's Parks and Recreation. "You're really helping somebody learn a lifelong activity that they can do forever," Sassi says.
For Myers, it's a way to take her lifeguarding skills to the next level and share her passion for the pool. "If I can get more people to love the sport then that's awesome," Myers says.
To learn more about the Red Cross Water Safety Instructor program head to www.redcross.org.
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