Elijah Valley, son of U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Leisha Valley from the 361st Intelligence Reconnaissance Surveillance Group, jumps into the water with help from Katherine Moore, assistant school age coordinator at the Hurlburt Field Youth Center, during swim lessons on Hurlburt Field, Fla., Oct. 3, 2012. Swim lessons help teach children to swim but also about safe and healthy lifestyles. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christopher Williams)
Sienna Delsid, daughter of U.S. Air Force Capt. Christopher Delsid from the 319th Special Operations Squadron, uses the wall to make it back to the stairs during swim lessons on Hurlburt Field, Fla., Oct. 3, 2012. Swim lessons instruct children from 3 to 12 years of age. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christopher Williams)
Lukas Wheeler, son of Justin Wheeler with the 1st Special Operations Force Support Squadron, cheers for another kid during swim lessons on Hurlburt Field, Fla., Oct. 3, 2012. Swim lessons are once a week for eight weeks. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christopher Williams)
Isabella Alvarado, daughter of U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kimberly Alvarado from the 1st Special Operations Communications Squadron, practices her kicking with the help of Katherine Moore, assistant school age coordinator of the Hurlburt Field Youth Center, during swim lessons on Hurlburt Field, Fla., Oct. 3, 2012. The swim program on Hurlburt Field has tripled in participants in two years. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christopher Williams)
by Airman 1st Class Christopher Williams
1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
10/11/2012 - HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- Hurlburt Field works all year long to provide various opportunities for military children and their families to live and learn about healthy and safe lifestyles. One such opportunity is the swim program ran by the Hurlburt Field Youth Center.
The program is designed to encourage health and fitness activities as well as educate through proper planning and smart healthy goals. Also, the program is designed and focused on growing the sport of swimming and promoting healthy and active lives, especially for children.
"Not only do the youth learn how to swim, but they also learn safety and how to stay healthy," said Katherine Moore, assistant school age coordinator. "The program has helped bring more awareness to not only the children, but also the parents about the importance of safety in and around the water."
Two years ago, the swim program on Hurlburt Field had only 25 members attending swim lessons and a few participated on the base swim team. With the help of Michael Phelps Foundation, founded by Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, the swim program has been able to triple the amount of people being educated in safe swimming habits.
"The program has grown to more than 80 youth, increasing the size of the Hurlburt swim team who participates in the swim program," said Moore. "Not only do we have new youth joining, but we also have increased the number of swimmers returning."
The swim program focuses not only on teaching children the proper form to swim but also educates children and their parents on water safety.
The swim program holds swim lessons for 3 to 12 year olds and the practices are once a week for eight weeks. Swim lessons have two sessions a year: an winter session from on Sept. 4 and a spring session which will start April 3. There is also a Hurlburt Field swim team that is a year-long swim team that practices three times a week.
For more information on how to join the swim programs on Hurlburt Field please contact the Hurlburt Field Youth Center at 884-6355.