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Step Into Swim Celebrates Program Partnerships in Mission to Create More Swimmers

  • Jan 27, 2023

January 27, 2023

Media Contact:
Amy Willer
Associate Director, Marketing & Communications
703-838-0083 x 121 |  

Pool & hot tub industry partners help Step Into Swim increase access to water safety education, kick off program year at the Pool and Spa Show

(Atlantic City, NJ) – Step Into Swim, an initiative of the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) dedicated to creating more swimmers through safe swim education, announced ongoing partnerships with key program supporters Fluidra, Hayward Holdings, Inc., and Heritage Pool Supply Group. Each one shares Step Into Swim’s commitment to increase access to swim lessons and instill overall water confidence in the name of drowning prevention, reflective in key partner celebrations at this week’s Pool and Spa Show hosted by the Northeast Spa and Pool Association.

“It is so great to have the opportunity to meet with our partners in person and celebrate their contributions to the next generation of swimmers,” says Rowdy Gaines, three-time Olympic Gold Medalist and Vice President of Partnerships and Development for PHTA, who leads the Step Into Swim initiative. “Fluidra, Hayward, and Heritage Pool Supply Group have been integral in growing our mission and their financial contributions will help Step Into Swim reach our goal of raising $750,000 to provide learn-to-swim grants. These grants will provide thousands of children with proper, safe swim education and help reduce drowning.”

Partnership Celebration with Fluidra

(L to R: Bruce Brooks, Fluidra CEO; Sabeena Hickman, CAE, PHTA President & CEO; Rowdy Gaines, PHTA Vice President of Partnerships & Development, Lennie Rhoades, Fluidra North America President; Scott Frost, Fluidra North American Vice President of Sales; Charlie Claffey, PHTA Chair; Joe Laurino, PhD, PHTA Chair-Elect.)

Fluidra, a publicly listed company focused on developing innovative products, services, and IoT solutions for the residential and commercial pool markets, committed $100,000 to Step Into Swim. The partnership, which was celebrated with a ceremonial check presentation and photo opportunity at the industry tradeshow, underscores Fluidra’s mission to provide the perfect pool and wellness experience for all and its shared belief in investing in the effort to teach people the lifesaving skill of learning to swim so that they may do so. The generous donation will help Step Into Swim provide learn-to-swim programming for 2,000 children.

“As a leader in the aquatics industry, it’s on us to help create equal access to aquatic enjoyment and that includes the opportunity to learn how to swim,” says Lennie Rhoades, President of Fluidra North America. “That's why we are honored to be working with Step Into Swim again and are delighted to contribute to their cause as they continue to make waves by prioritizing learning to swim, saving lives, and raising awareness about drowning prevention as well as water safety.”

Partnership Celebration with Hayward Holdings, Inc.

(L to R: Eifion Jones, Hayward Senior Vice President & CFO; Stuart Baker, Hayward Vice President of Business Development; Rick Roetken, Hayward President North America; Albert Miller, Hayward Vice President of Sales North America; Kevin Holleran, Hayward President & CEO; Rowdy Gaines, PHTA Vice President of Partnerships & Development; Sabeena Hickman, CAE, PHTA President & CEO; Charlie Claffey, PHTA Chair; Joe Laurino, PhD, PHTA Chair-Elect; Bob Blanda, PHTA Board Member.)

Hayward Holdings, Inc., a global designer, manufacturer, and marketer of a broad portfolio of pool and outdoor living technology, committed $50,000 to Step Into Swim. The partnership, which was celebrated with a photo opportunity at the industry tradeshow, furthers Hayward’s purpose-driven approach to community commitment. The generous donation will help Step Into Swim provide learn-to-swim programming for 1,000 children.

“At Hayward, our vision — to inspire happiness and well-being through safe, smart, and sustainable solutions — drives everything we do, including our impact on the world. We are proud to continue to support Step Into Swim and help inspire the next generation of swimmers,” says Kevin Holleran, President & CEO of Hayward.

Benefit Concert Hosted by Heritage Pool Supply Group

(L to R: Dave Cook, Heritage Cares Pool Group President; Rowdy Gaines, PHTA Vice President of Partnerships & Development; Andrew Petrozziello, Heritage Pool Supply Group COO; Clayton Hatten, Heritage Pool Supply Group Regional Vice President of Tile/Pool Hardscapes & Florida.)

Heritage Pool Supply Group, one of the largest and fastest-growing privately held wholesale distributors in the U.S., continues to support Step Into Swim and Swim Across America with benefit events hosted by its Heritage Cares, the Heritage Family of Companies philanthropy. The philanthropy planned a charity concert during the industry tradeshow with 38 Special and Lynyrd Skynyrd taking the stage at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City.

“As a member of the aquatics industry, we believe learning to swim is a critical lifesaving skill that can empower young swimmers to stay safe in the water,” says Dave Cook, President of Heritage Cares Pool Group. “Heritage Cares prides itself on supporting initiatives that align with our mission and positively impact communities across the country, such as Step Into Swim.”

Contributions from industry partners are integral to growing Step Into Swim’s mission. In 2022, the program raised over $750,000, which provided grants to more than 60 facilities in 43 states and funded swim lessons for 23,500 children. The initiative has gifted more than 300,000 swim lessons since 2012 through YMCAs, Jewish Community Centers, Boys and Girls Clubs, and many more. The program is funded through contributions and 100 percent of donations go to Step Into Swim initiatives and learn-to-swim programming. To learn more, visit

For more information, please contact Amy Willer, PHTA’s Associate Director of Marketing & Communications, at or 703-838-0083 x 121.


About the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance

The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), a non-profit organization with over 3,600 members from around the world, was established in 1956 to support, promote, and protect the common interests of the $36.5B pool, hot tub, and spa industry. PHTA provides education, advocacy, standards development, research, and market growth to increase our members’ professionalism, knowledge, and profitability. Additionally, PHTA facilitates the expansion of swimming, water safety, and related research and outreach activities aimed at introducing more people to swimming, making swimming environments safer, and keeping pools open to serve communities. For more information, visit

About Step Into Swim

Step Into SwimTM is an initiative of the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance and its foundation committed to safe swim education and drowning prevention. By investing in the next generation of swimmers through learn-to-swim programming, the Step Into Swim initiative instills confidence, empowers long-term participation in water activities, touts the positive benefits of water play, and advocates for safe practices. Since its inception in 2012, Step Into Swim has played a role in reducing drowning fatalities and has gifted swim lessons to more than 300,000 children with support from community organizations, partners, industry advocates, members, and more. For more information, visit

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Pool & Hot Tub Alliance Strategic Partners:

  • Biolab
  • Fluidra
  • Hayward
  • Heritage Pool Supply Group
  • Lou
  • Lyon Financial
  • Pentair
  • Raypak
  • WatkinsWellness
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