Swimming is a great, non-impact exercise and a fun sport. It is also an essential, lifelong skill. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is the number one cause of accidental death in the U.S. among children under the age of four, and one out of every five people who die from drowning are ages 14 and younger. That is why our mission at Pods Swimming is to teach as many people as possible how to swim.
From babies and toddlers to older teens and adults, learning to be a strong, confident swimmer who is comfortable in the water opens doors for young and old alike to enjoy beaches, lakes, and pools on the recreational level. It can also spark a passion for swimming as a competitive sport. Once mastered, the ability to swim is something that stays with a person throughout their lifetime.
We’re planning to break ground on a state-of-the-art, indoor pool facility at the corner of Route 44 and Commercial Way in East Providence, R.I. The 12,000 s/f building will have as its centerpiece a six-lane, 25-yard training pool plus a smaller, 90-degree heated “teaching” pool. Other amenities include a family changing room, locker rooms, a snack bar, reception area, and office space.
For the past eight years, we have been traveling from pool to pool in order to provide quality swim lessons in the Greater Providence area. However, we need our own permanent pool facility where we can provide a stable environment for our swimmers, our families and our staff.
The new Pods pool will be our home base for year-round lessons and other swim events. It will also be available for rental to schools, senior centers and other organizations throughout Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts.
We’ve been extremely adaptable and have “gone with the flow” these past eight years, but we need a pool to call our own. It’s a very big undertaking for us, but one that will benefit children, adults and entire families for decades to come.
You can read below to see what some of our former swimmers have to say about our program.
If you are interested in helping us with your support of this project, please see our rewards column to the right for contribution levels and details.
Director of Pods Swimming
-ABOUT PODS SWIMMING-
Established in 2007, Pods Swimming offers personalized instruction that focuses on skills, and does not require the use of flotation devices. Pods is comprised of the Cuttlefish and Pod programs, in which children learn foundational swimming skills and the basics of competitive swimming. Pods' staff emphasizes teaching swimmers the proper stroke technique, and encouraging students to reach their full potential.
I first met Susan and Jamie in 2001, as a wild 5 year-old, when I joined the club team they worked for, Ocean State Squids. I came into their group having already completed several swim programs elsewhere but had made little progress. Under Susan and Jamie’s instruction, I progressed from blowing bubbles to the butterfly stroke. I have a distinct memory of the first time I did butterfly well, where I felt my stroke click. Jamie had a wide smile on her face and lauded me for how AMAZING I looked. Little did she know, 14 years later, I would still be swimming butterfly in college. Susan and Jaime did not just teach me to swim, however. As part of their group, I learned to love exercise, I learned water safety, and I made friends. Together, they built the foundation for a core part of my identity, being a swimmer, a contribution that has had an immeasurably positive effect on my life.
Giving Pods a year-round facility at one convenient location, unimpeded by weather issues, provides Susan, Jamie and their staff with the ability to expand their reach and bring safety, life skills, and, most importantly, happiness to their swimmers. I am proud to be a product of Pods; I hope more children are afforded that same opportunity.
-Sam Spurrell is a sophomore at Amherst College, majoring in French and Political Science. In 2015, as a member of Amherst’s varsity swim team, he was 2-time All-Conference, a Scholar All-American Team, and an All-American in the 200-yard butterfly.
Swimming is an essential life skill and the importance of learning to swim at a young age cannot be underscored enough. I learned to swim at the age of 3 under Susan's instruction and began competitive swimming at the age of 5. Having confidence as a young swimmer allowed me to safely enjoy the water, both at the pool and the beach. Pods Swimming instills children with the water safety knowledge and swimming skills they need to be confident in the water from a young age. The Pods pool project will ensure that future generations have access to USA Certified Swim School training and will contribute to preventing water deaths of RI children. Beyond learning how to swim for safety, the sport of swimming is an excellent outlet for fostering teamwork, self initiative and dedication in youth. The Pods program is not only the cornerstone of water safety for Rhode Island children but also an agency for cultivating participation in competitive swimming.
-Courtney Haron, a 2015 graduate of Middlebury College, is a former Squid swimmer and Pods Swimming instructor
I think the environment of the Pods Swimming program is the best one to teach a child to swim in. Whenever I pass someone on the street who is wearing a Pods Swimming T-Shirt, I always let them know that they are in good hands. I love their reaction when I tell them that Susan and Jamie taught me how to swim 15 years ago, which has led to my current status as a collegiate swimmer. I know that the new facility will provide similar opportunities for children in our community, as well as lifetime friendships and the necessary life skill of swimming.
-Sarah Steingold is a sophomore at Connecticut College and a former Squid swimmer
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To learn more about Pods Swimming, please visit us on our website!