USA Swimming and YMCA: A unique collaboration resulted in a landmark study between USA Swimming, the YMCA,
and faculty from the Department of Health and Sport Sciences to determine minority
children's swimming ability in the US. The research team, which consisted of Drs.
Richard Irwin, Carol Irwin, Tim Ryan, and Joris Drayer, surveyed approximately 1,700
adolescents and parents of very young children during the spring of 2008 at various
YMCA non-swimming programs. Also, barriers to swimming participation were explored
during this research. The YMCA of Memphis and the Mid-South was a major partner in
this effort as were the other YMCAs in five other US cities (Chicago, Houston, Miami,
Oakland, CA, and Philadelphia). Information from this study has been used by numerous
media outlets, such as the Today Show, the Wall Street Journal, and the Chicago Tribune,
to headline stories that hoped to decrease and/or eliminate drowning events.