LOS ANGELES, CA / ACCESSWIRE / July 22, 2019 / Earlier this summer, Operation Splash, an initiative made possible by Kaiser Permanente with the help of a longtime partnership with the City of Los Angeles, held its 2019 kick-off event to celebrate the program’s 14th consecutive year. The program promotes water safety, physical activity, and healthy living and supports L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti’s initiative, SwimLA. Complementing SwimLA, Operation Splash offers free swim lessons to youth and adults in low-income communities and provides scholarships for junior L.A. lifeguard trainings.
Almost 200 people from Operation Splash and SwimLA attended the event in South L.A., including Mayor Garcetti and gold-medalist swimmer Janet Evans, who both spoke about how the program contributes to brighter futures and healthier communities.
“Swimming is a critical, life-saving, and life-enhancing skill that everyone should possess and have access to learn,” said Cynthia Telles, Chair of the Kaiser Permanente Community Health Committee. “We are so honored that for 14 years Operation Splash has not only helped improve water safety, but has also empowered participants’ career and athletic achievements.”
Through this program, Kaiser Permanente seeks to not only save lives, but to also provide opportunities that can last a lifetime. One speaker at the event, Alexandra Gomez, discussed how her journey began with learning how to swim through Operation Splash, leading her to join her high school water polo team and ultimately become a South L.A. city lifeguard.
Aimed at increasing education about water safety, preventing drowning incidents, and ensuring swimming is part of everyone’s skill set, Kaiser Permanente provided the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, Aquatic Division, a $408,000 grant. Through this grant, 12,000 kids and adults will receive free swim lessons and 1,560 youth will be provided scholarships to fund training to be junior lifeguards for the 2019 and 2020 summer seasons. The program and grant also support participation in the Rethink Your Drink Campaign, which promotes drinking water and emphasizes the negative health impacts of sugary beverages.
SOURCE: Kaiser Permanente
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