Swimming for Life: Water Safety and Competition for Inner-City Youth

submission by TrojanSwimClub

About Your Application

Organization(s) name(s):

Trojan Swim Club

Organization(s) website(s):


Organization(s) twitter handle(s):


Organization(s) facebook handle(s):


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Describe Your Organization(s)

Non-profit organization

For-profit organization


Other (please specify below):

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.


The Trojan Swim Club operates both a fee-based competitive swim program and a free outreach program that provides school-based swimming instruction designed to empower underserved Los Angeles youth to develop healthier lifestyles.

In one to three sentences, please describe your proposal.


The Trojan Swim Club Outreach Program is a free, school-based, high-quality swim program that began at a single South Los Angeles site in 2014 with 90 students and has served a total 260 to date. The success of the program has led us to plan an expansion of our capacity and partnership with LAUSD in 2016. By increasing capacity at our existing site and expanding to two new schools, we will reach 830 students annually with our rigorous water safety, swimming instruction and competitive program.

Where will you be working? Please be specific (e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County).

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles (countywide)

City of Los Angeles (citywide)


Other (please specify below):

How do you plan to use these resources to make change? (check all that apply)

Conduct research

Engage residents and stakeholders

Implement a pilot or new project

Expand a pilot or program

Mobilize for systems change

Advocate with policymakers and leaders

Implement and track policy

Other (please specify below):

How will your proposal improve the following “Play” metrics? (check all that apply)

Access to open space and park facilities

Number of children enrolled in afterschool programs

Per capita crime rates

Percentage of residents that feel safe in their neighborhoods

Attendance at major league sporting events

Residents within 1⁄4 mile of a park (Dream Metric)

Number of residents with easy access to a “vibrant” park (Dream Metric)

Number of parks with intergenerational play opportunities (Dream Metric)

Number (and quality) of informal spaces for play (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to play.


The Trojan Swim Club (TSC) Outreach Program was created as a direct response to the racial and socioeconomic barriers that contribute to the disparate rate of drowning amongst children of color - three times that of white children - and to this same group’s under-representation in recreational and competitive swimming. By empowering disadvantaged youth with the skills, confidence and desire to reach their fullest potential in life, these programs promise to be training grounds for success in and out of the water, and to change forever the lives of the youth they touch.

In the 2014-15 school year, TSC served 200 youth of which 66% were female, 34% male, 85% Latino and 15% Black. A team of 50 was launched to introduce the most passionate participants to the components of competitive swimming with the goal of preparing them to advance to a competitive program and compete in meets sanctioned by USA Swimming. Twenty-five will join a competitive program scheduled to start at Fremont High School in January of 2016.

Our curriculum is based on best practices in the field and is designed to help students acquire basic water safety skills, develop proper stroke techniques and also prepare advanced students for competitive swimming. The majority of the staff is made up of seasoned instructors with a passion for teaching disadvantaged youth to swim.

Our planned program expansion will allow us to implement high-quality swim programs at three schools in Los Angeles in 2016, providing 830 underserved youth with the instruction and mentorship necessary to develop basic water safety skills, learn how to swim, and for those that discover a love for swimming, to advance to TSC’s competitive swimming program with the potential to participate in college-level athletics.

We envision a 2050 in which all Los Angeles youth have equitable access to recreational spaces and programs. Access to high-quality swim programs is a single piece of this puzzle, but, we believe, an important one in promoting positive youth development. Beyond the more easily measured health benefits, programs like ours have been shown to reduce neighborhood crime and improve the academic performance and general well-being of the youth that participate. We want to bring Los Angeles one step closer to a 2050 in which every child has the same opportunity to learn to swim and be healthy physically, socially and emotionally, irrespective of their parents’ paychecks or the color of their skin.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.


In order to maintain individual student and overall program progress, instructors conduct assessments periodically to evaluate student’s proficiency in mastering water safety and stroke development skills as well as program implementation. We pay close attention to attendance records to evaluate student engagement. Additionally, school administrators, teachers, and parents have opportunities to provide feedback on their satisfaction with the program and to influence program implementation strategies, administrative processes and related activities.

We also will have the opportunity in 2016 to collaborate with Los Angeles Education Partnership, a nonprofit organization that is building Bethune into a full service community school. This will grant us access to data they gather using an independent evaluator, allowing us to monitor the academic achievement and the health of our students in a more scientific manner and to better meet the needs of the whole child.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed? (check all that apply)

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

Other (please specify below):

2 Pink talk bubble tail c96b4a07ef1417e25d0bcf5c4cba4766b8bbf0382f07677990a9d5577885d4d7

Amazing idea to keep children active in LA. I love to swim, and know the great benefits it has to the body. Keep up the excellent work!

by aolfletcher
5 months ago

great idea

by kgc6826
5 months ago

Pink ribbon award box icon 45b87e779c93f5099a48378c2aadc0fcd51184974daecf76e3f5c50034ea21fb
Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
Circle 1 inactive e7784182a1bd5eace578987db27fc19ec6337f418c48c6c8732605b9043d50d0 Step1 title submission inactive cde083e53089b973e7c9dc80a44a038c1ce4cf3b2650aeb5549157d1ed58a2d9

Submission Began
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Submission Ended
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 2 inactive 74a43088831beb43fdbd7591ef5d50a5a7a26ff92c9e8ed489782459fa31a8d9 Step2 title voting inactive 96be722f53c417edddb5742ba9a6dc2fd403f7e4f6c19dbe883d50d20d93689d

Voting Began
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Voting Ended
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
at 08:00 PM UTC

Circle 3 83da7a9432aeea960e1a9e9ee93e7ea1221af6c8f42b27964f2e9999d94b2b8d Step3 title 3d9e2a65d6ea1ad301f8fc607f5f828bd96362932c71d81c0da5b1fd964422b0
A shady oasis for everyone in Grand Park
A shady oasis for everyone in Grand Park

Winner Announced
Tuesday, December 08, 2015