We began with some success in the United Kingdom. Five instructors trained and became Miracle Swimming Licensees. One of them, Andie Andrews, became a loud voice for the gentle approach, writing numerous articles in the national publication, Swimming Times, that influenced teachers and training programs. She has presented her message at the Life Saving Foundation of Ireland’s Drowning Prevention & Rescue Conferences in Dublin in 2014, 2016 and 2018 to acclaim, as well as at the International Life Saving Federation World Conference on Drowning Prevention in Durban, South Africa. She is gaining traction.
The 5 U.K. instructors found that the local pools where they wished to teach Miracle Swimming all gave a similar response: “We already teach that.” Though the Licensees and their Letter of Introduction explained how Miracle Swimming is another kind of teaching altogether that would feed clients into their existing programs, the facts were not believed. It seems that agencies believe us only when they experience our work in person. The situation is the same in the United States.
In 2010, 5 teens drowned at a family picnic in Shreveport, Louisiana. They were standing on a ledge in the water and one jumped or fell off, not knowing it was a ledge. As he began to struggle, another jumped off to save him. One by one all tried to save the others. One by one, each drowned. The parents watching from shore were helpless. They couldn’t swim, either.
Immediately, Miracle Swimming developed a 50-year plan to teach all 250,000 residents of Shreveport to swim. Two weeks later, it was submitted to each member of the Shreveport City Council. In a week, we heard from one member of the Council. It was a polite thank you. There was no further response, including after follow-up.