At Sperry, water is at the core of everything we do. We believe in the power of water to free the mind, ignite the imagination and soothe the human spirit. Most importantly, we believe that everyone has the right to enjoy the oceans and waterways that connect us all.
That’s why we’re partnering with Tankproof, an organization dedicated to making swimming accessible, affordable, and inclusive for under-served communities. Since 2011, Tankproof has been providing swim lessons to children, and this summer, Sperry will extend its support to Tankproof’s multi-city swimming lessons initiative through financial contributions and by equipping volunteers in each city.
The multi-city tour, which kicked off in Austin on June 5th, will provide five-day swim classes for children aged 5 to 17. Tankproof’s expert instructors will guide the children through these classes, equipping them with essential life skills and fostering their confidence in the water. The tour will continue in Dallas, San Francisco, Gonzales, and Seattle, with additional cities being added later in the summer.
Tragically, drowning is the leading cause of death for children between the ages of one and four, and the statistics are even more alarming for African American children, who are 5.5 times more likely to drown than their white counterparts. Additionally, 79% of children from low-income backgrounds lack swimming skills. Through this partnership, we’re proud to work with Tankproof to confront these concerning statistics and empower the next generation of swimmers. Additionally, Tankproof will collaborate with us to educate consumers and Sperry employees about the important equity issues faced by communities of color concerning water activities.
“We are so proud to have Sperry join us in our mission to empower youth and save lives,” said Thurman and Torrence Thomas, the co-founders of Tankproof. “Sperry is the perfect partner as they are synonymous with the joy the water can bring. With our aligned values and beliefs, together we can make waves across America and sink the stats!”
The collaboration between Sperry and Tankproof began in 2022 as part of our purpose platform, “All For Water. Water For All.” This initiative reflects our commitment to creating a more equitable environment for everyone on the water. In 2022, Sperry showcased the inspiring story of Thurman and Torrence Thomas, the co-founders of Tankproof, through the docuseries “Reclaim Your Water.” Directed by Faith Briggs and created in collaboration with Claima, the series aimed to raise awareness and inspire positive change in the water space. To watch the short film, click here.
“At Sperry, we recognize the transformative power of water in providing balance, energy, and serenity,” said Elizabeth Drori, Chief Marketing Officer at Sperry. “However, we are aware that the water has not been an equitable space for everyone. It is our privilege to partner with Tankproof in offering free swim lessons to children and working towards creating an environment where everyone feels welcome and safe on the water.”
In addition, we will offer the opportunity for shoppers to donate to Tankproof on its e-commerce shop at checkout in July and August.
To learn more about the tour, volunteer as a swim instructor, or enroll a child in free swim lessons, please visit Tankproof’s website.
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