Shreveport, La. – WNBA Champion and Shreveport, Louisiana native Alana Beard hosted her second annual swim safety event at the YMCA of Northwest Louisiana on July 21-22.
Beard will participate in the two-day swim education program with local children.
Beard said “I can pull on my own experiences with my parents. Neither one of them know how to swim and neither one of them emphasized the importance of it in our household.”
The kids in the group are from Common Ground Community in Shreveport which gives kids a safe space to interact.
Beard is a four-time WNBA All-Star, 2016 WNBA Champion and member of the WNBA’s LA Sparks. She hopes to use her position as a professional athlete to show the Shreveport community that water safety is crucial, regardless of athletic ability or age.
According to a 2017 USA Swimming Foundation study, 64 percent of African-American children, 45 percent of Hispanic children and 40 percent of Caucasian children have no/low swimming ability, putting them at risk for drowning.
Beard was inspired to promote water safety after a tragedy in 2010 where six teens drowned in Shreveport’s Red River. She hosted her first annual event last summer and looks forward to continuing to impact swimmers of all ages for years to come.
The event has been planned with the support and guidance of the YMCA of Northwest Louisiana and USA Swimming Foundation. All of the organizations provided input and helped identify the most effective way for Beard to make a difference in this community.
For information on the partner organizations, visit:
· Common Ground Shreveport: www.commongroundshreveport.blogspot.com
· USA Swimming Foundation: www.usaswimmingfoundation.org
· YMCA of Northwest Louisiana: www.ymcanwla.org
By Christian Henson