Strengthening Community through Swimming in Partnership with USA Swimming Foundation


Strengthening Community Through Swimming: A Partnership Between USA Swimming Foundation and the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles

The USA Swimming Foundation and The YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles have embarked on an inspiring journey to improve water safety and swimming skills among the youth of Los Angeles County through a strategic partnership. We are thrilled to announce that the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles has been awarded a significant grant from the USA Swimming Foundation for 2024. This generous funding is part of the Foundation's nationwide initiative to support swim lesson providers in offering free or reduced-cost swimming lessons to youth. This year, the USA Swimming Foundation has committed $780,000 in grants across various programs, emphasizing the importance of water safety and swimming proficiency.

This collaboration highlights the ongoing commitment of both organizations to enhance community well-being and provide valuable life skills to children, particularly those from underprivileged backgrounds. The need for instruction in water safety and strong swimming skills in these underserved communities remains at an unprecedented high. According to a CDC report released on May 23, 2024, for children between the ages of 1 and 4 drowning is the leading cause of death. That age group saw a 28% increase in drowning fatalities between 2019 and 2022.

Together, the USA Swimming Foundation and the YMCA are building a safer, more health-conscious community. The USA Swimming Foundation's Youth Learn-to-Swim Grant has been instrumental in this initiative and has supported the YMCA’s goal to provide water safety and swimming instruction to all kids, regardless of their ability to afford these important classes. With an established presence in 26 branches and 20 aquatics facilities across the county, the YMCA is set to teach about 3,500 youth annually. Crucially, about 875 of these participants are expected to benefit from swim lesson scholarships, ensuring that financial barriers do not hinder their ability to learn essential water safety skills.

This partnership addresses the critical need for drowning prevention while also allowing for community participation in multiple water-based activities which support broader health and wellness objectives. Swimming is a comprehensive physical exercise that promotes cardiovascular health and overall well-being. By facilitating access to swimming and water safety lessons, the program also plays a crucial role in fostering a culture of fitness, safety and enjoyment of all water-based recreational activities. The program’s impact extends beyond the individuals it directly serves, as these young swimmers will undoubtedly become advocates and role models for water safety in their communities.

This grant comes at a vital time. As interest in swimming grows, partly fueled by the excitement surrounding the U.S. Olympic Team Trials and the Olympic Games, it's essential to ensure that access to swimming lessons keeps pace. The YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles is proud to be part of the USA Swimming Foundation's network of over 1,500 qualified lesson providers nationwide.

Join Us in Making a Difference

With partners like the USA Swimming Foundation, we are creating a safer, healthier, and more inclusive community. To learn more about our swimming programs and how you can get involved or support our mission, please visit Your support helps us provide these crucial services to more children in our community.

For additional information or to become part of this vital community initiative, please contact our Director of Aquatics, Harry Van, at or call us at 213-380-6448. 

Produced by

Megan Lewicki Profile Picture

Jess Hubacek 
Grant Writer 
Mission Advancement