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Heidi’s Triathlon Fundraising Team for Access to Swim Equity

By Heidi Adelsman, YWCA Women’s Triathlon Participant
August 8, 2017
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My first YWCA Women’s Triathlon was the first Women’s Tri at Baker Park in 2008. I’ve participated in four triathlons total, and this year is my first year leading a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign for the YWCA Women’s Triathlon Fundraising Team.

Fundraising to Support Swim Lessons for All

I am fundraising to support YWCA Minneapolis and what it represents. YWCA Minneapolis offers great programming, one of the most important being swim lessons for children and youth who don’t always have access to that opportunity. This helps to offset the disparities in swim skills, which can be lifesaving skills.

Ongoing Swim Disparities Today

Our country has a sad legacy of segregation in public pools and beaches, which means disproportionately some African Americans and People of Color/Indigenous (POCI) have not had access to swimming lessons. This legacy lives on–sadly–as evidenced in tragic recent swimming-related deaths among young people of color in our community.

I am participating to honor and remember Sha-Kym Adams, a football player at South High School who drowned in Minneapolis’ Lake Nokomis in 2014. My children went to school with him, and he had many friends who tried to save him and were undoubtedly also affected. This was a horrible tragedy that speaks to ongoing disparities today.

There were no lifeguards on duty that morning because lifeguard hours have been cut. For me it is a necessity that we keep beaches safely staffed. When I was growing up in the 1960s and early ‘70s there were free swim lessons at Lake Nokomis. How we spend our tax dollars speaks to what we value. Safely-staffed beaches with lessons for all of our residents is, for me, as important a priority as reconstructing the amazing network of bike lanes that many of us enjoy throughout our city.

The Gift of Health

Finally, I am participating because having our health is a gift. It’s good fun to do anything together like walking, biking and swimming, and YWCA Women’s Triathlon is a massive event that supports this. Last I heard more than 1,500 women will participate, which is unbelievable. I am excited, nervous and thrilled to be a part of this 10th anniversary event. And a special thank you to St. Catherine’s University for supporting and encouraging students to participate.

More People Learning to Swim

As a result of the contributions raised in my fundraiser, I hope more people will learn to swim and enjoy fun in the water. And I hope to help YWCA Minneapolis continue its mission of eliminating racism, empowering women and girls, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

Support Heidi and YWCA

Want to support Heidi’s peer-to-peer fundraising campaign focused on providing swim lessons to marginalized populations?

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