Grenada is an island country in the Caribbean about 100 miles north of Venezuela. Like other Caribbean countries many National Grenadians, children and adults, cannot swim (estimated at over 85%) resulting in unfortunate drownings.
Spearheaded by Deb Eastwood and the Grenada Youth Adventurers (GYA), National Learn to Swim Week (NLTSW) is an initiative to provide free swim lessons to children and adults throughout Grenada. We have now held 5 years of National Learn to Swim Weeks.
In July of 2017 we added a second Learn to Swim Week that occurs the second week of July each year. We also invite you to sign up or come to Grenada during that time to help. In 2020 this week will occur July 6th-10th.
The two swim weeks are now part of a bigger program called Get Grenada Swimming, an initiative to teach 8,000 children to swim by 2021. This initiative also added Saturday morning, free swim lessons at 9 beaches around Grenada, with an intent to take that to 12 beaches by 2021. If you live on the island and can help us with teaching at one of our locations (Grand Anse, Grand Mal, Sauteurs, Carriacou, Bathway, Gouyave, Waltham Beach in St Mark and Grenada Marine in St David) we would love to have you.
The Get Grenada Swimming is a 5-year program designed to teach 8,000 children to swim by 2021. By mid 2019 we have taught over 5,000 children to swim. The program has three strategic parts:
Bathway: 9am to 11am with David & Linda Wright, 442-0495.
Birchgrove: 8:30 am – 10:30 am with Lovell Alexander 416-1226.
Grenada Marine, St. David: 9am to 11am with Catherine John, 458-3474.
Grand Anse, in front Umbrellas: 9am to 11am with Deb Eastwood, 404-5237.
Grand Mal, in front Go Cool steps: 10am to 12 noon with Camme Roberts, 417-8399.
Gouyave, in front the fish market:10am to 12 noon with Sharm Ashton, 421-6702.
Waltham Beach (north of Gouyave): 2pm to 4pm with Korah Ashby, 410-0208.
Sauteurs Break Water : 9am to 11am with Sinikka Fisher, 422-9880.
Lumbadive, Carriacou: 2pm to 3pm (children), 3;30pm to 4:40pm (adults) with Diane Martino 443-8566.
Easter - The Tuesday to Saturday following Easter each year. In 2020 this will take place April 14th–18th.
July - The Monday to Friday after schools let out for the summer holidays, usually the second week of July. In 2020 this will take place July 6th-10th.
Schools or organisations can contact Deb Eastwood at 404-5237 if they would like to schedule swim lessons at the beach. To date we have had over 10 schools in our program.
NLTSW 2019 was a huge success with 614 swimmers, 90 international and local volunteers and 60 paid instructors. We are grateful for the support of sponsors such as Republic Bank Ltd, The Grenada Olympic Committee, the Grenada Scuba Diving Association, SeaBreeze Hotel, Grenada Marine and various local individuals, businesses and marinas.
Endorsed by the Government of Grenada's Ministry of Sport and the Grenada Amateur Swimming Association (GASA), National Learn To Swim Week has become an integral part of water safety and learn-to-swim each year.
During National Learn To Swim Week, free daily classes are held at various beaches and swimming pools around Grenada. The classes are taught by volunteers, including some of the local coaches, swimming instructors and swimmers.
For National Learn To Swim Week 2020 the following locations are identified for the classes:
GYA Purpose: To provide inspiring recreational, leadership, service, educational, and social activities for Grenada youth and families which nurture a sense of community, that build character, teach leadership skills, and inspire a service ethic. Working with schools and community organizations, GYA helps youth in these communities realize their true potential through a strong emphasis on swimming and learn-to-swim programs.
Deb Eastwood came to Grenada in 2007 as a full time teacher and worked until 2011 at several Grenadian schools. During the past 8 years, she founded and directs a non-profit youth organization called Grenada Youth Adventurers (GYA) which has a heavy focus on swimming. Deb has been working with youth for over 30 years as a mentor, coach, youth leader, Sunday School teacher and camp director. For more about Deb and her vision please check out this article.
National Learn To Swim Week 2020 is scheduled for April 14th-18th. However, if you wish to start learning to swim right now, there are Saturday morning free lessons at eight beaches, and local clubs and instructors that would be willing to help you. Find out more information by contacting Deb Eastwood at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 473-404-5237.
This DropBox Link will give you some basic training before you get here.
You don't have to sign up for a Dropbox account; just decline when the menu comes up.
You do not have to be a great swimmer to be a Get Grenada Swimming Volunteer. As long as you are comfortable in the water, it will only take an hour for us to train you how to work with the children (and adults!). They need to be able to blow bubbles underwater, float on their bellies and backs, kick with a noodle, simple stuff like that.
We love having volunteers come from other countries. Each year we have people come from the US, Canada, the UK, Sweden and other wonderful places. Sometimes they make it a family vacation with parents and teens both teaching. CLICK HERE if you would like to have a Vacation with a Purpose.Become a Get Grenada Swimming Volunteer!
We would like to take the time to thank all of our National Learn To Swim Week 2019 Sponsors, both corporate entities and individual persons. Your support and generosity contributed greatly to the success of NLTSW 2019.
A heartfelt Thank You to our Main Sponsor Republic Bank Ltd..
c/o Grenada Youth Adventurers
GYA is a non-profit organisation so contributions are always welcome. US donors can contribute to our 501c3 by writing a check to Friends of GYA. Send the check to AmiLynne Carroll, 9071 E. Mississippi Ave., Unit 14 E, Denver, CO, 80247. Please note GYA on the memo line. U.S. contributions are tax-deductible.
Contributions can also be made via PayPal by clicking below!