IMG_0692Matt Sinnott is a freelance blogger and proud dad

5 reasons why swimming will be your kid’s #funnestsport

As a parent of a young child, I — naturally — want to enroll my kid into every activity they can possibly manage and wait in hopes that one will stick. But my five-year-old daughter has hated everything, from ballet to Tae Kwon Doe, that I’ve taken her to except one sport — swim.

This isn’t surprising, and SwimToday explains why swimming is such a popular and fun sport for children. On Saturday, June 20, SwimToday ambassador Dara Torres, a five-time Olympic swimmer-turned-swim-mom organized an afternoon with 13 industry partners to have swim dads to discuss the benefits of swimming. The four swim dads were three-time Olympic gold medalist Rowdy Gaines, Pat Dwyer, father to Olympic gold medalist Conor Dwyer, and Dick Franklin, father to four-time Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin and swim dad from Santa Clara, Joseph Kim to discuss the benefits of swimming.

Here are some of the reasons the dads say swimming is the best sport:

1) Swimming is a team sport

Even though it may seem like it’s a team sport, parents of swimers associate the sport with teamwork more than any other sport. “You’re swimming for your team.” Kim said. “Overall, being a part of a team is part of a family.”

And for Franklin, Dwyer and Kim in the Olympic level and local level, respectively, it’s not only uniting the teammates, but also the parents of the teams.

2) It’s fun!

Torres says she is passionate to share with other parents what the sport has to offer because being a part of the team is “one of the most fun and rewarding experiences a child can have.” Both Missy Franklin and Conner Dwyer played many other sports growing up, but swimming was the sport they stuck with, because it was fun. “We never picked her (Missy) up after a swim lesson and ever heard her say, ‘that was terrible,’” said Franklin.

3) It’s closer than you think

According to SwimToday, 62 percent of families live within ten minutes of a pool, and 52 percent of households with combined income of $50,000 or less report they have access to a pool nearby. Combined with the fact that you only need to purchase a swimsuit, cap and goggles, swim can be the most accessible sport you can participate your child(ren) in.

4) Your children will gain immense life skills

Swimming can increase self-confidence, self-esteem, time management skills and increase social development. Franklin attributes swim as the reason why his daughter is the person she is today, saying swimming is “more than a sport” and that the discipline swimmers learn at an early age is “hard to come by.”

5) It’s a life sport

You learn it once, and you’ll learn it forever. Your child will have a sport they can always turn to.