Kids make splash at BC swim lessons


Mario Saldana, Reporter

The Bakersfield College men’s and women’s swim teams hosted their annual free community swimming lesson at the BC aquatic center on Oct. 1.

Ten people drown each day in the United States, with most of the cases being children due to low or no swimming ability.

The BC swim team is aware of the problem and wants to help by teaching children ages 2 and older how to swim and know how to be calm in the water during a dangerous situation.

In addition, the BC swim team wants to teach parents the dangers of pools and how to act if their child does fall into the water.

BC swim coach Matt Moon, who set up the idea for lessons, along with other coaches, feels great to help these children and give back to the community.

“You hear a lot about drownings involving young kids, and having two kids of my own made me start thinking more about water safety,” said Moon.

Moon’s main goal is to teach to the community how to be safe around water, especially since the Kern River is a hot spot in the summer time where many drownings have occurred.

“It’s pretty hot in Bakersfield so there’s a lot of pools, so we want to teach these kids to be a little more comfortable in the water and use these skills their whole life,” said Moon.

The swim team and the coaches volunteered for the event, giving the lessons. Victoria Hernandez was one of the athletes who volunteered and enjoyed her time helping children learn about water safety and basic swimming lessons.

“It’s really fun, I love working with the kids, just getting them out there and letting the kids who are scared get used to the water and bring a smile to their face,” said Hernandez.

Marisol Martinez, a parent and a former BC student that took her children to take part in the swimming lessons, was glad that the swim team held this event. Knowing that there’s so much danger when it comes to pools, she felt like this was an opportunity for her children and herself to learn about swimming and water safety.

“I think it’s great. I’ve been wanting to teach my girls for a long time but I’ve been working, but today is my day off and I saw a post about this, I said let’s do this,” said Martinez

“It’s great having someone with more experience teach my daughters how to swim, since my oldest daughter is afraid of the water.”

The swim lessons ran on a continuous 20-minute cycle to get as many kids in the water as possible.

Many children showed up at different times during the day, ready to get in the pool and learn. During the lessons the swim team took part in a six-hour relay and families were more than welcome to watch.