Describe Oakland Community Pools Project here

Edward Guthmann, in a Special Feature printed in the San Francisco Chronicle, highlights the work that Rolandas Gimbutis and the Oakland Community Pools Project Swim School are doing in Oakland, California. Gimbutis, who competed on the Lithuanian swim team in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics, works with the pool project full time.

Gimbutis, in an interview with Guthmann, said that "this project is here to promote swimming as a sport, to show that swimming is not something to be afraid of. The program primarily is focused to bring minorities to the sport - African Americans and Latinos and Asians. Their parents often don't swim, and they don't want their kids swimming because they feel the water is not safe and there's the potential to drown. We teach how to swim, how to tread water and how to feel comfortable in water. That's our main goal.

Generally, when you look at swimming, it's mainly a white sport. Ninety percent. And we're the opposite. The vision of this program model is to make swimming available to everybody. We offer it at a relatively low cost - $55 for swim school. We also offer scholarships for families who cannot pay. If they're at the lowest economic level, they swim for free, basically."

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