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Young Men's Christian Association
NEW YORK CITY
PAT. FEB 15 ;97
A campaign was started in the early twentieth century by the Y.M.C.A. “to teach every man and boy in North America” to swim. George Corsan began teaching group swimming lessons in the Detroit Y.M.C.A. Group lessons, and lessons on land to build confidence, were radical new approaches to teaching swimmers. It is said that he taught over 800 boys to swim in Newark, New Jersey in just four weeks. Throughout the 1910s swimming classes grew to include families and people with disabilities. Olympic medalist Mark Spitz, Greg Louganis, Janet Evans, and President Ronald Regan all learned how to swim at the Y. More than 1 million swimmers a year were using Y.M.C.A.s in 1932 and by the 1980s Y.M.C.A.s were the largest operators of pools in the world. Swimming continues to be a large part of the programming in Y.M.C.A.s today.