First pool dedicated to teaching adults to swim to open in Sarasota

Former Flanzer Jewish Community Center facility scheduled to open on May 1

M. Ellen Dash. Contributed photo
M. Ellen Dash. Contributed photo

The first pool dedicated specifically to teaching adults to swim is slated to open in Sarasota on April 16, a nonprofit organization based in Sarasota has announced.

“There is such a vast need for good adult swimming classes nation- and world-wide that a dedicated location is overdue,” said M. Ellen Dash, CEO of Miracle Swimming for Adults Inc., in a news release, noting that 46 percent of American adults do not know how to swim.

Miracle Swimming has provided classes for adults since 1983; it will open and operate the pool, the release adds.

“There is no other place where adults can reliably overcome their fear of water and learn to swim in two to three weeks,” Dash added of the facility in the release.

Most adults who cannot swim are either unfamiliar with the water or are afraid because of “previous unfortunate experiences,” the release points out. “An afraid-in-water adult is one who cannot rest peacefully for five minutes in water over his/her head and at least ten feet from any wall or support,” the release says.

Eighty percent of Americans who drown are adults, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2015, the release notes. “If adults learn to swim, chances are higher that whole families can be safe in water,” the release adds.

Conventional lessons teach that learning to swim means learning strokes, such as freestyle and the backstroke, the release continues. “Miracle Swimming for Adults holds that learning to swim means becoming comfortable, confident, and safe in deep water and that though formal strokes are necessary for efficiency, they are irrelevant for safety,” the release says.

The Miracle Swimming pool, which formerly belonged to the Flanzer Jewish Community Center of Sarasota, is located on McIntosh Road, the release notes. That facility “has come within a hair’s breadth of being demolished on more than one occasion,” the release adds.

“A beautiful pool like this deserves to be revived and open to serve the community,” said Dash in the release.

Miracle Swimming is beginning a Kickstarter campaign this month to raise funds to resurface and renovate the facility, the release explains. “Planners say the pool will be open for annual memberships,” the release continues. “Membership fees will be applied to pool maintenance,” it adds.

Members may sign up for local programming, which will include beginning classes for adults; freestyle and pre-Masters swimming classes; lessons for expecting parents; classes for parents to learn to teach their children to swim; backyard pool safety classes; and lessons for children and teens “to prevent them from becoming adults who are afraid in water,” the release points out.