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Thanks to the Michael Phelps Foundation at the Boys and Girls Club, kids can dive into a future in the pool in Broward. Lee Pitts tells NBC 6 about water safety and the Olympian's visit to the local club.
When you think of Michael Phelps, you probably think of gold medal moments in the Olympics.
But for some residents of Broward County, that name means something more personal.
Thanks to the Michael Phelps Foundation at the Boys and Girls Club, kids can dive into a future in the pool.
“I love coming to swimming, because we have fun and we learn how to swim,” Terrelle Gay said.
The Boys & Girls Club’s Lee Pitts said water safety is very important.
"We got a lot of water, 75 percent of the world is composed of water, every kid should learn to swim," he said. "It should be just as important as reading, writing and arithmetic.”
In ethnically diverse communities, the youth drowning rate is 2 to 3 times higher than the national average.
Along with learning to swim, the kids at the Broward club can get lessons on how to live a healthy lifestyle – just like the 14-time gold medal winner.
“Michael Phelps is a down to earth guy, and I think he’s really passionate about kids learning to swim,” Pitts said. “When he came to visit the club, there wasn’t a whole lot of media following him. He came in, he spent a long time with the kids, he signed autographs, he’s a real gracious cat.”