San Antonio Sports Launches VIVA SWIM For Life on April “Pool’s” Day

April 01, 2015

Community-wide initiative will connect children to swim lessons

WHAT: It’s no joke! April “Pools” Day will mark the launch of a new community-wide initiative committed to reducing the number of children and adults who don’t know how to swim, preventing drownings and introducing them to a life-long sport. San Antonio Sports officials will be joined by San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood, members of the WATCH Coalition (Water Awareness Through Community Help) and representatives from a broad coalition of swim providers to kick off VIVA SWIM For Life, presented by University Health System in conjunction with USA Swimming.

WHEN:Wednesday, April 1 at 10 a.m. (April “Pools” Day)

WHERE: Northside Swim Center stadium, 8400 North Loop 1604 W
*if raining, we will be indoors at the same location


  • Chief Charles Hood, San Antonio Fire Department
  • Dr. Lillian Liao, Director of Pediatric Trauma, University Hospital
  • Russ Bookbinder, President & CEO, San Antonio Sports
  • Scott Zolinski, aquatics director, Northside ISD
  • Brian Woods, superintendent, NISD

Representatives from more than 30 safety and aquatic-related organizations

*Video messages from Mayor Ivy Taylor & Olympian Jimmy Feigen

VISUALS: NISD children will be taking a swim lesson before and after the press conference. Attendees will be invited to videotape personal testimonials about why swimming is important to them to be shared later on the VIVA SWIM website and through social media.

WHY: Swimming lessons save lives. San Antonio is hosting four major swimming events in 2015, including the Phillips 66 National Championships and the Speedo Jr. National Championships. To celebrate the sport of swimming while also reducing the number of children who don’t know how to swim by increasing access to swimming pools and lessons, San Antonio Sports created VIVA SWIM For Life presented by University Health System in conjunction with USA Swimming.

  • Approximately 10 people drown every day in the U.S.
  • More than one in five fatal drowning victims are children younger than 14.
  • Roughly 70% of African-American, 60% of Hispanic/Latino and 40% of Anglo children cannot swim.
  • Participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children aged 1-4 years.

The WATCH Coalition reports that consistent and close parental/adult supervision is the number one thing that can be done to prevent drownings.

VIVA SWIM will connect children and their families to swim lessons taught by qualified instructors at public and private pools.