Olympic swimming pool north of Minneapolis in hopes of bridging racial disparities – WCCO

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – There have already been at least 15 drownings in Minnesota this year and the racial disparity is significant.

The Center for Disease Control says black children and teens drown in swimming pools at a rate five and a half times that of their white counterparts.

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A Minneapolis nonprofit is hoping to change that statistic. V3 Sports Center purchased the vacant building on Plymouth and Lyndale Ave in North Minneapolis in 2017. Their plan is to build a sports center with a 50-meter Olympic swimming pool and a 25-meter teaching pool to hold classes. of swimming.

Their goal is to create enthusiasm around learning to swim and to make the lessons accessible. It is located north of Minneapolis in a richly diverse neighborhood. The cost of swimming lessons decreases according to household income.

“It creates momentum,” said Issac DeSouza of the V3 sports center team, “It’s more of a lifesaving skill than just a sport.”

On June 4, a 12-year-old boy died after drowning in the North Commons water park, located just one kilometer from the future V3 sports center.

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“It’s just terrifying because it shouldn’t be happening. It’s an epidemic that can be resolved easily and having the pool here will help with that, ”DeSouza said.

Currently, the V3 pool is in Omaha, Nebraska for the Tokyo Summer Olympics swim trials. Once testing is complete, the pool will be dismantled and shipped north to Minneapolis. The grand opening is slated to take place this fall.

They hope this pool will make swimming lessons a priority for everyone, including adults.

“Someday they might save a life, save a family member, and once you learn you can teach other people as well,” DeSouza said.

V3 is a non-profit organization committed to increasing equity in health and wellness, reducing disparities in drowning, and fighting historic racism and segregation.

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They are currently fundraising for construction costs. If you would like to donate to the project, click on here.



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