FEBRUARY 8, 2018—CHICAGO—Chicago Cubs fans remember Andre Dawson “The Hawk” for his passionate play on the field, but for the past decade the Hall of Fame outfielder has devoted his focus to a different passion: swim safety for kids.
The 63-year-old Dawson employed the services of South Florida’s Baby Otter Swim School to learn how to swim at the tender age of 50.
This coming March, the Baby Otter Andre Dawson Aquatic Center will seek to develop swimmers, some as young as eight months old, by employing its one-of-a-kind instructional swim program at The Westin Lombard Yorktown Center’s pool.
Utilizing its proprietary Turn, Kick, Reach® system developed and proven in Florida over the last 40 years to dramatically decrease drownings, Baby Otter teaches both children and adults how to swim in just five 30-minute private lessons or in under three hours. At the same time, it establishes the proper techniques needed by a child who accidentally falls in the water in order to save his/her life.
“Accidental drowning remains the leading cause of death to children under the age of 4 in the U.S.,” explains Marlene Bloom, who founded Baby Otter over 40 years ago after having her young daughter turned away from swim lessons because of her age. “We found our niche long ago when realizing that most accredited instructional swimming programs do not teach children until they were 3 years old,” added Bloom.
For Dawson, March will mark a return to the city where he spent seven seasons as an outfielder for the Cubs, following his 11-year rise to stardom with the Montreal Expos. Dawson would finish his career with the Florida Marlins (1995-96). Never learning how to swim while living in the state which remains the drowning capitol of the U.S., Dawson turned to Baby Otter when it came to learning how to swim 13 years ago.
“You owe it to your children to get them in the water as early as possible,” says Dawson. “The best part of this program is that they learn in a five-day span how to turn, kick and reach to survive in the event they might have fallen in. Personally, I took on the challenge to learn how to swim when I turned 50 and it was one of the best decisions that I ever made.”
The Baby Otter Andre Dawson Aquatic Center is now accepting enrollment at The Westin Lombard Yorktown Center. For more information or to enroll your child, call (888) SWIM-KID (794-6543). Baby Otter is also hiring. For more information please contact Baby Otter.