Last week, former NBA player and Oak Cliff native Derrick Battie, presented a check on behalf of himself, NBA Hall of Famer and Boys & Girls Clubs of America Alumni Hall of Famer, Shaquille O’ Neal & The Shaquille O’Neal Foundation, Ro Parrish of the Parrish Family Foundation. Their donation will help us refurbish the pool at Oak Cliff Boys & Girls Club later this year.
The repaired pool will not only provide wonderful summer memories, but, most importantly, provided much-need swimming instruction to prevent drowning. Every day, there are nearly ten accidental drownings in the United States. And unfortunately, the drowning rate of children of color is three times higher than white children. In Texas alone, 64% of the children who drowned last year were Black, Asian, or Latino. Formal swim lessons have proven to reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children. This investment will save lives.
In the past, the pool has only been opened for the summer, but now our goal is to have the pool open year-round to serve more youth. BGCD is researching the possibility of providing water aerobics classes and aquatic physical therapy for Oak Cliff residents.