Ludacris loves the kids.
The USA Swimming Foundation’s “Make a Splash” program, presented by Phillips 66, came to Atlanta from April 29-30 to teach children how to swim. Due to the fact that drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental death among children younger than 14 years old, the US tour seeks to prevent fatal accidents right before the start of May, which is National Water Safety Month.
Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges came out to support the program on behalf of The Ludacris Foundation. The rap superstar took a dip in the pool with a group of lucky kids learning to swim. Also, Cullen Jones, two-time Olympic gold medalist and the second African American swimmer to win gold, gave the kids a professional lesson they’ll never forget.
“As someone who nearly succumbed to drowning, I know how learning to swim can change your life,” said Jones, according to a press release. “Drowning is preventable and we have a great opportunity to teach children how to be safer in and around the water.”
Other celebs who came out to the YMCA and press conference to show support included singer Keri Hilson, Disney Channel actor and swimming state champion Blake Michael, and the first woman of color to make the US Olympic Swimming Team and win a medal, Maritza McClendon.
“With the support of Phillips 66, the USA Swimming Foundation is going into communities to educate people and remove the barriers that may prevent parents and children from learning to swim,” said Debbie Hesse, executive director of the USA Swimming Foundation. “Knowing how to swim can be the difference between life and death, as formal instruction can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent.”
The USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash program has already taught at least 4 million children nationwide how to swim. The program has a goal of teaching 1 million kids the skill annually by December 2017.
Check out photos from the swimming lessons and press conference below.