This morning, Up2Us Sports athlete ambassador Kim Vandenberg hosted a swim clinic for 30 girls from long-standing partner ReNew Schaumburg Elementary. The school, in partnership with The New Orleans Recreation Development (NORD) Commission, the American Red Cross and Up2Us Sports, launched their swim program in advance of the 2017-2018 school year. Up2Us Sports placed two coaches in the program to teach students swim skills and life skills throughout the school year.

Vandenberg was a member of the bronze-medal-winning U.S. team in the women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. She also earned gold in the 200-meter butterfly at the 2011 Pan American Games and won silver medals at the 2005 World University Games and 2007 World Swimming Championships in the same event.

In 2010, Mayor Landrieu initiated plans to fund year-round aquatics programs throughout the city that focused on water skills and education as well as a lifeguard training program, under the direction of NORD. In May 2011 NORD re-opened the Joe W. Brown pool after eight months of renovations and improvements, making it the City’s first year-round indoor aquatics facility. The Joe W. Brown pool recently partnered with ReNew Schaumburg Elementary to introduce water safety and swim lessons as a physical education course to its students. NORD partnered with Up2Us Sports to provide space for today’s swim clinic.

The clinic supports the Mayor’s initiative to increase water safely opportunities for all residents and raises awareness for Up2Us Sports’ initiative She Can Coach, which is focused on growing opportunities for women to coach and ensuring young girls in vulnerable communities have great female role models. After the clinic, Vandenberg shared with the girls her path to the Olympics as well as the importance of having female role models, like coaches, in their lives. She credits her own female coaches with helping to propel her swim career, as well as her post-swimming career.

Those interested in supporting She Can Coach can learn more and donate here.