05 Nov 2018
- By Lori Lyn C. Lirio – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
500 Sails co-founder Emma Perez said they will offer free swimming lessons to children while most schools are still closed.
On Saturday, 500 Sails and Dolphin Club Saipan swimmers removed typhoon debris from the lagoon at the Civic Center beach.
“We are trying to clean the ocean from the white buoy and World War II tank up to Guma Sakman so it will be safe for the children to swim,” Perez said.
She said starting this week, they will offer free swimming lessons to children, especially those in typhoon shelters, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
The Dolphin Club Saipan swimmers, who have undergone lifeguard training, will help Perez conduct the swim program.
“Our swim program is for the youth whose schools are still closed. We will teach kids how to swim while they don’t have anything to do. We hope to continue until all schools are open,” she said.
Perez said she talked with Marianas High School principal Cherlyn Cabrera about the swimming lesson. There are 50 children at the school shelter. “We will start with them and then we will start adding on,” Perez said.
They will also provide three vehicles to pick up and bring back the children to the shelter.
Perez said there are 30 lifeguard trainees who will help conduct the program.
“I have been working with these children for the last two months,” Perez said as she attested to the capability of the young swimmers. “All of them are ready to take the lifeguard swimming test.”
One of lifeguard trainees, Katherin Illahi, 16, encouraged children and teens to learn how to swim.
“Swimming is a life skill and a survival skill. It also exercises all parts of your body, especially your lungs,” she said.
Perez said they also welcome donations of bottled water for the participants.
At the end of the cleanup on Saturday, Perez and the trainees were able to remove several typhoon-damaged tin metal sheets from the lagoon.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/108645-500-sails-to-offer-free-swimming-lessons-to-children