Aiken Parks and Recreations Dept. & Personnel Services offer limited free swim lessons to the public


AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – Summer is almost here, and with everyone starting to head back outdoors, knowing the basics of swimming is more important than ever.

“We feel it’s absolutely vital for your friends, for your family, for yourself to know some of the basic water safety skills,” said Jessica Campbell Director of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism, City of Aiken.

“I say that could easily save somebody’s life. Just being able to float, being able to keep your head above water,” said Life Guard Sierra Hofstetter.

“The water can be dangerous. Anything can happen. One split second, things can go wrong,” said Water Safety Instructor Avery Ferron.

To help, the City of Aiken’s Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Department is teaming up with Aiken Personnel Services to offer 60 swimming lessons to members of the public, free of charge.

“Aiken Personnel Services had reached out to us this year after a tragic accident at a local lake here in South Carolina and that inspired him to want to give back to the local community to help others learn water safety and how to swim,” said Campbell.

The goal of the partnership wasn’t just to create strong swimmers, but to build awareness about the importance of teaching adults and children about how to prevent drowning.

“Honestly, one of them out here from day one, she was absolutely scared and now she’s floating and so comfortable in the water,” said Hofstetter.

“I’m very thankful that somebody thought it was important enough to pay for lessons so that everyone could come out here and get these lessons,” said Tiara Jackson, a participant in the program.

“Representing the senior citizens, it’s never too late and I’ve been having a wonderful time and I really wanted to be able to learn more about techniques so that if there is a problem with my grandchildren that I might be able to assist,” said Mary Mason.

“We did have a limited number of classes and spots available and their is a waiting list, so anyone interested can still come out and try to get their name on that list and they would visit here at Smith-Hazel to do that,” said Campbell.

For info on how to contact Smith-Hazel Recreation Center CLICK HERE

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