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ASAA instructors giving free swimming lessons this summer

The American Samoa Aquatics Agency (ASAA) will be giving free open water swimming lessons starting next Monday, June 11 at the Utulei Beach Park. According to Zero Iaulualo, the head of ASAA, the lessons will be open to both children and adults, and children must be at least six years of age.

The program is being sponsored by the Department of Parks and Recreation.

“Starting on Monday June 11, we will be teaching three days a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. We will be covering freestyle swimming, water safety and the other things that come with the program.

We are also supported by the Bruckner Chase Toa o’le Tai Ocean Heroes Program along with Bruckner Chase’s wife, Michelle. We are continuing to do the service that the governor  asked last year in teaching American Samoa how to swim, in providing water safety and swimming lessons for our territory. Our instructors, who are all from the ASAA, will be doing this as a summer job, as they will be getting paid by the Department of Parks and Recreation,” he said.

“The last day to sign up will be this coming Friday (tomorrow), but we might extend it until Monday June 11 if we still have room. People can come here to Utulei Beach Park where we will be tomorrow (today) and Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m., or they can go to the Department of Parks and Recreation Office in Tafuna to sign up.

You can call Parks and Rec for more information at 699-9513.

“With this being summer time and school being out, there might be a lot of young kids taking advantage of the time off and spending it in the water. So if you parents have kids, bring them down here to sign up and take advantage of this free service. It could save your child’s life,  or your life,” he said.

The ASAA’s goal is not only to teach open water swimming and open water safety lessons, but also to educate the community about the need to respect and protect the oceans.

Some of the instructors in the program, along with Iaulualo, made the historic Toa o le Tai Ocean Heroes “Aunu’u to Utulei Beach Park Relay Swim” last month on May 11, that covered a distance of just over 9 miles.