Events promote water safety during spring break

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Lilly Casolaro

Staff Writer

Troy University campus organizations are hosting activities to promote water safety during spring break.

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc.’s Omicron Pi Chapter, Greeks Advocating Mature Management of Alcohol (G.A.M.M.A) and Trojan Outreach are all sponsors for the events.

Festivities kicked off on March 2, in Claudia Crosby Theatre with key speaker, Martina McClendon, Olympic medalist and the first African-American woman to make the U.S. Olympic swim team.

Sigma Gamma Rho partnered with USA Swimming to launch SWIM 1922: Spring Breaks the Cycle of Drowning, an initiative that seeks to educate students of the risks and benefits of swimming.

The partnership of Sigma Gamma Rho and USA Swimming “seeks to strengthen USA Swimming’s commitment to Diversity and Inclusion… to increase swim participation and decrease drowning rates in the community,” according to U.S.A. Swimming’s website.

McClendon was unable to make an appearance at the event due to weather and flight delays. A personalized video from McClendon addressed Troy University students on the importance of watching out for one another in and around the water.

The purpose of McClendon’s video focused on persevering and achieving dreams, as McClendon did after the disappointment of not making her first attempt at the Olympic trials.

Knyra Ratcliff, a senior marketing major from Birmingham and the international second vice president of Sigma Gamma Rho, said that the event was one that would keep participants engaged throughout its entirety.

“We encourage students to attend the SWIM 1922: Spring Breaks the Cycle of Drowning event because this isn’t an ordinary speaking engagement, but it engages students through activities such as trivia, games, social media and incentives while also teaching a great message,” Ratcliff said.

The sorority and other campus organizations aimed to inform students and the community about the risk of drowning.

“Approximately 10 people drown every day in the U.S.,” Ratcliff said.  “Many collegiate students are at risk of drowning due to factors such as inexperienced swimmers, high alcohol and drug intake, and the lack of lifeguards.

“Learning about water safety and swimming is more than a recreational skill. (It is) a life skill that all students must learn.”

Krissy Sherman, a senior criminal justice major from Miami, Florida, and president of G.A.M.M.A. shared some tips for spring break safety.

“One of the best ways for students to be safe is being sure of themselves,” Sherman said. “You know what you can and cannot handle. Knowing your limits allows you to assess what you are and what you’re not willing to try.”

“Don’t test your limits,” Sherman said. “Have fun and make memories, but be safe while doing so.”

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