May 14, 2014

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Continues Tradition of Offering Summer Swimming Lessons

Scenes from swimming lesson sessions during the 2013 summer.

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University Continuing Education knows that formal swimming lessons can help protect both young children and adults from drowning.

“We have been one of the main providers of swimming lessons in this area for over 20 years,” said Sue Bailey, program coordinator. “The most important reason we continue to offer lessons each summer is to help ensure that everyone is safe and comfortable in the water, so they can enjoy their summer activities.”

Every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 10 people die from unintentional drowning.

“At some point, everyone will find themselves in or near water — on a boat, fishing on a dock or pier, swimming in a pool, lake, or at the beach  — and knowing how to swim can save your life,” Bailey explained. “Drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional death in the United States. It is really sobering to hear that one out of five people who drown are 14 and younger and 1- to 4-year-olds have the highest drowning rates. More 1- to 4-year-olds die from drowning than any other cause except birth defects. We plan to continue providing this great service to our community for many years to come.”

Swimming lessons at VSU are taught by experienced American Red Cross-certified water safety instructors to children and adults ages 3 and up. There is no upper age limit.

Children must be toilet trained.

Classes begin June 2 and run weekly through July 18.

Classes are offered in the morning and in the evening in the indoor, heated Student Recreation Center pool on Sustella Avenue. The non-swimmers class is for children and adults who need to learn basic skills to stay afloat and elementary swimming techniques. The swimmers class is for those who are comfortable in the water and who can demonstrate basic swimming and floating techniques.

There are also special classes designated solely for ages 12 and older who have only elementary skills or are considered non-swimmers.   

Classes are limited to three students. They are offered for 35 minutes, five days a week and cost $65 per week. The only exception is the week of June 30 through July 3, which is a four-day week due to the Independence Day holiday and costs $54.

Call Valdosta State University Continuing Education at (229) 245-6484, email Sue Bailey at, or visit to learn more.

Registrations will only be accepted by phone or by walk-in. Continuing Education is located at 903 N. Patterson St.