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Charlotte Area News

Swimmer Cullen Jones Driven To Get Minority Kids In The Pool

We hear about drowning victims all the time. Just last month, two boys drowned in Lake Norman. Yet the number of kids who can't swim is startling, especially among African-American and Hispanic children. A recent study by USA Swimming shows 70 percent of black children, and 58 percent of Hispanic kids don't know how to swim. Money is a factor, but not the primary obstacle. The study says it's parents. In many cases they're simply afraid to take their kids near water. Olympic gold medalist and Charlotte resident Cullen Jones is working to change that attitude through a program called "Make A Splash." He's taking advantage of his status as a world class African-American swimmer to encourage minority kids and their parents to learn how to swim. Jones spoke to WFAE's Lisa Miller from Irvine, California, where he'll compete in the national championships meet. Competition begins Tuesday. But today Jones was in the pool giving lessons.