RBC Insurance backs major national
program to keep kids safe in the
Swimming Canada and its delivery partners in the Canada’s Swim Team program expect that partnership with RBC Insurance is exactly what the program needs to make a splash in the marketplace.
Canada’s Swim Team is a partnership among Swimming Canada, the Canadian Red Cross, the Lifesaving Society and the Canadian Medical Association. The objective of the program is to give children the skills and confidence necessary to swim 25 metres. It’s a modest objective that could save many lives and that should catch the attention of young families. It hasn’t yet, thanks largely to meagre promotional support, even though the program was launched a year ago.
With RBC Insurance as the program’s presenting sponsor, that should change. RBC Insurance and Swimming Canada haves set an objective of reaching 700,000 Canadian children and their families over the next three years.
The safety message is on-brand with RBC Insurance, and the overarching objective of giving every child the skills to swim 25 metres by the age of 12 is big and attention-grabbing.
The program also aligns with two broad RBC-wide initiatives: Blue Water, its 10-year, $50 million commitment to provide access to clean, drinkable, swimmable water, and its Learn to Play Project, which has committed to donating $750,000 to community-based organizations across the country to ensure children become happy, healthy and active. The program is also consistent with RBC’s Believe in Kids Pledge, a five-year, $100 million commitment to improve the well-being of at least one million kids and youth.
Canada’s swim team is more of a concept than a program. The program itself – the swimming lessons – will be delivered by program partners through their various learn to swim programs. With Canada’s Swim Team, the 25 metres becomes an objective within the learn to swim program. Once a child meets that objective, he or she becomes a member of the team and receives recognition for it.
“The first time they do it they’re given a Canada’s Swim Team membership card,” says Chris Wilson, Swimming Canada’s Director of Marketing. “Hopefully, it gives them some inspiration to keep going beyond that.”
Canada’s Swim Team is about safety, not a smooth stroke. “We don’t care how you get there,” explains Bob Stellick, Principal of Stellick Marketing Communications and RBC ’s representative on the deal. “We just want you to get there. “You can dog paddle. You can butterfly.”
Nobody writes a news story about a child who jumped into the water and did not drown. Canada’s Swim Team isn’t about sizzle, says Stellick. It’s about doing profound good in the community. And it’s a program whose impact will be felt over time.
The program will begin to be offered country-wide this summer.
RBC Insurance’s sponsorship will provide funding for learn to swim programs and promotional support.
Canada’s Swim Team reaches existing learn to swim programs, which typically attract children aged six years and up. A second element of RBC Insurance’s sponsorship is a program called Designated Water Watcher. It’s a Red Cross program aimed at reminding adults that children in the water must be under constant adult supervision.
The simple program includes a wristband, a whistle and a plastic card with water safety guidelines, and it will be made available through RBC Insurance offices.
In a related agreement, RBC has agreed to sponsor Swimming Canada’s high performance program, says Wilson.
“They will be involved with our national team and some of our bigger events,” says Wilson, with activation ramping up as the 2016 Olympics approach.