YMCA swim lesson kidsAs part of the Y’s commitment to reduce drowning rates and keep kids safe in and around the water, the Beaufort–Jasper YMCA of the Lowcountry will provide scholarships for swim instruction and water safety to children from underserved communities in Beaufort and Jasper counties in 2019.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fatal drowning is the second-leading cause of death for children ages one to 14 years old. In ethnically diverse communities, the youth drowning rate is two to three times higher than the national average, according to a USA Swimming study. Additionally 64 percent of African-American children, 45 percent of Latino children, and 40 percent of Caucasian children have no or low swimming ability.

“Educating children how to be safe around water is just as important as teaching them to look both ways before they cross the street,” said Lou Bergen, Aquatics Director at the Wardle Family YMCA. “The Y teaches children of all ages and backgrounds that water should be fun, not feared, and this practice not only saves lives it builds confidence.”

The Y has been a leader in providing swim lessons and water safety for more than 100 years, pioneering group swim lessons in 1906. The Wardle Family YMCA continues to help youth and adults experience the joy and benefits of swimming, so they can be healthy, confident and secure in the water. There are a variety of programs to choose, including:

  • Lapswimming
  • (BYAC) Tiger Sharks Swim Team with 3 levels of teams members (Shark Pups, TigerSharks Level 1, & TigerSharks Level 2)
  • Water aerobics group exercises classes
  • Fluid Fitness (work out ON the water!)
  • Aqua Camp (specialty summer camp)
  • Lifeguard Training
  • Masters Swim
  • 100-Mile Swim Club
  • Scuba

To learn more about Wardle Family YMCA swim programs including lessons, swim team, and Aqua Camp, please contact Lou Bergen at 843-522-9622 ext. 236(l.bergen@wardlefamilyymca.org

About the YMCA: The Wardle Family YMCA was charted in 1990 and opened its doors in June 1996.  The YMCA is a locally autonomous non-profit organization made up of voluntary membership that is open to individuals of all ages, race, religion, incomes and abilities. The mission of the Beaufort-Jasper YMCA of the Lowcountry is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.  The Beaufort-Jasper YMCA of the Lowcountry currently serves approximately 10,000 individuals annually through the programs and services provided in Beaufort and Jasper counties.  beaufort-jasperymca.org