Palestine YMCA Swim Team Brings Home the Gold and Reinforces the Importance of Water Safety and Skills
When it came to earning medals at a national level, Palestine YMCA Piranhas Chase Fields, Madison Crader and Summer Hagan each got a fistful.
Hagan earned five medals while Fields and Crader earned four apiece at the ninth State Games of America at the University of Nebraska's Bob Devaney Natatorium. Fields won three gold medals, while Crader and Hagan earned two apiece.
Piranhas coach Katherine Newton said, “Words cannot express how proud I am of Chase, Madison and Summer. Their gold medals represent summers dedicated to the sport both mentally and physically.”
The Piranhas were among 15,000 athletes from 47 states and the District of Columbia at the SGA, a biennial Olympic-style event that features 60 sports.
Being a part of a swim team is just one small glimpse into the YMCA’s aquatics safety focus. Texas YMCAs are committed to teaching water safety and drowning prevention. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, formal swim lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children ages one through four. In 2013 alone, Texas YMCAs provided over 70,000 swim lessons and are working to increase that number each year. The YMCA is able to reach populations that may not have easy access to swim lessons and other water safety techniques through partnerships with school districts, apartment complexes, and other community groups.