Group Swim Lessons: Our Crazy Idea That Saved Lives
Putting Safety First, Second and Third
In the late 1800s, swimming pools were new, exciting—and dangerous. In 1906, George Corsan at the Detroit YMCA pioneered a radical new idea to quickly combat the increasing number of drownings: group swim lessons. To keep people healthy, the first pool filtration system was invented and installed in a YMCA pool in 1910.
Pollywogs to Olympians
Many of Hawai‘i’s Olympians trained at the Y, including Duke Kahanamoku (three gold, two silver), Ford Konno (two gold, two silver), Warren Kealoha (two gold), Pua Kealoha ( gold, silver), and Bill Harris (bronze).
Safety Around Water
The Y continues to offer progressive swim classes based on evidence-based curriculum. In addition, our Safety Around Water program is offered free to hundreds of 5th grade classes from O‘ahu’s underserved areas.