Step Into Swim Update - From the Desk of the CEO
Dear Generous and Thoughtful Supporters of the Step Into Swim™ Campaign:
Happy New Year! We are pleased to report that, in 2016, the Step Into Swim (SiS) campaign has made a positive impact in two important NSPF strategic initiatives: First, creating more swimmers, and second, creating more frequent swimmers. Step Into Swim plays a pivotal role in our efforts to help more people live healthier and happier lives, reduce drowning, and as a result build demand for the health-focused pool, hot tub, and aquatic industry.
Relative to the first initiative, SiS grant recipients created about 5,026 swimmers in 2016 alone using $59,380 in SiS donations. Your thoughtful and generous contributions of $53,706 were supplemented by NSPF to complete the donation total. All administration costs associated with the SiS program are covered by NSPF. In addition, Water Safety USA, a consortium of 14 organizations, including NSPF, all built “learn-to-swim” messaging into their promotions.
With respect to the initiative of creating more frequent swimmers, the SiS campaign sponsored ($25,000) the USA Swimming, SwimToday™ program. USA Swimming had a banner year promoting swimming with SwimToday, amazing victories at the Rio Olympic Games and a collaboration with Disney and its movie Finding Dory, having a “keep on swimming” message.
Two major events were organized late in 2016 to help inspire pool, hot tub, and aquatic industry leaders about the benefits of more swimmers and more frequent swimmers. First, Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, author of the best seller Blue Mind, gave a keynote presentation at the World Aquatic Health™ Conference in Nashville, describing how being in, on, around and under water helps people live happier and healthier lives. The neurology and scientific research illustrating how water makes us happier is amazing. Learning to swim creates a spectrum of opportunities and experiences that are often the most memorable in our lives.
The second event, the Industry Executive Forum, was sponsored by four organizations at the International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo in New Orleans:
- Hanley Wood (Pool & Spa News, Aquatics International, and MetroStudy)
- RMS Media (Luxury Pools and Ocean Homes)
- Informa (International Pool Spa Patio Expo) – our host
- National Swimming Pool Foundation
The Forum attracted over 100 pool and hot tub industry leaders who learned why this is an extraordinary and unique time to build demand and create growth. All companies were encouraged to think differently about our industry and its growth potential and to expect more from the organizations, like NSPF, that work to support the industry.
In advance of the Forum, industry leaders received an executive review of three resources:
- Step Into Swim White Paper, showing inactivity, aging, and drowning trends and costs.
- Water Immersion Works book of videos, on benefits of water immersion and activity
- Blue Mind the book that reveals why water makes people happier and healthier.
Moving forward, it is important that we can measure our effectiveness in building demand (swimmers) and spurring growth (new pool construction). NSPF continues to review and refine proposals for a “learn-to-swim index” to document how many swimmers are created each year by the industry collective. In terms of market growth, the Industry Executive Forum showcased Hanley Wood MetroStudy’s new “residential pool construction index” to be published quarterly. Between the two measures, we can begin to correlate growth in the number of swimmers to growth in residential pool construction.
We believe everything NSPF does will help more people live healthier lives. Yet we recognize, we can’t do everything. Fortunately, many other amazing organizations create millions of swimmers each year. Importantly, other industry leaders are coming together with a shared vision that teaching people to swim creates a win for families, a win for health, and a win for our industry.
On behalf of our Board of Directors, staff and families around our country, please join us in thanking our major SiS supporters for their 2016 donations:
- Master Pools Guild ($ 40,000)
- Acapulco Pools ($5,075)
- American Chemistry Council ($5,000)
- Dozens of NSPF Instructors and other friends ($3,631)
Thomas M Lachocki, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
National Swimming Pool Foundation