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Why Horizons Swims

Posted on Dec 15, 2016 1:00:00 PM

When Simone Manuel made history in Rio by becoming the first female African-American swimmer to win Olympic gold in an individual swimming event, her story made waves across the country, especially in communities where knowing how to swim is not the norm.

Historically, there have been all kinds of barriers, from lack of swimming facilities (or lack of access to swimming facilities), to parents who don’t know how to swim themselves. One result: the USA Swimming Foundation reports that 70 percent of African-American children and 60 percent of Hispanic children have not learned how to swim.

This statistic has importance beyond swimming itself – and helps explain why swimming has always been so important at Horizons. At Horizons, every student enjoys excellent academic and enrichment opportunities, but every student also learns to swim.

The most obvious reason: swimming is a sport that can literally save your life. Knowing how to swim greatly reduces your risk of drowning.

And, of course, it’s a lot of fun!

But the most important reason behind our emphasis on swimming might surprise you. Learning to swim, especially for children, represents a big step toward mastering fears and developing confidence. At Horizons, we’ve seen time and time again the difference it makes for students in school once they’ve learned to swim. Often, students go from a fear of water, to a love of swimming, to a newfound confidence in taking on new challenges.

All of us at Horizons congratulate Simone Manuel on her victory, and we hope even more children are encouraged to take up swimming as a result. As we’ve seen at Horizons, success in the pool spills over into the classroom.


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