Goldfish Swim School Celebrates Resilient Childhood Friendships with Launch of 'Fintastic Friendship' Contest

While 2020 posed significant challenges for everyone, it also brought forth a wave of fun and creative socialization – especially in young kids. This Love & Friendship Month (February), Goldfish Swim School is celebrating all the creative ways kids remained social while distancing during the pandemic with the launch of its 'Fintastic Friendship Contest' – a campaign designed to promote the importance of childhood friendships and the safe socialization benefits of swim lessons. Brand ambassador and three-time Olympic Swimming Gold Medalist, Ryan Murphy, is collaborating on this campaign as someone who knows first-hand the importance of growing and nurturing lifelong friendships to help you achieve your fullest potential.

Starting February 1, members and non-members alike are encouraged to submit an entry form and share the ways their children remained social while distancing during the pandemic. Whether it was a birthday party parade, leaving chalk art surprises on their friends' driveways, having socially-distanced picnics in the park or taking swim lessons together at Goldfish Swim School while following Safer. Stronger. Together. ™ guidelines, it's something to celebrate! Each week throughout February, Goldfish Swim School will announce one winner via its social media on 'Fintastic Friends Friday' with the grand prize to be announced on Friday, February 26.

WEEKLY PRIZES: Weekly winners will receive two Goldfish Swim School prize packs – one for them and one to share with a friend! Prize packs will include free trial lessons, waived membership passes, towels, totes, paint sheets, water bottles, coloring books, stickers and more.

GRAND PRIZE: The lucky grand prize winner will be awarded a virtual Zoom party with three-time Olympic Swimming Gold Medalist Ryan Murphy. The winner will be encouraged to invite up to five of their closest friends to join the party and meet Murphy, who is currently in the throes of training for the postponed 2020 Olympic Games, set to take place in July. Murphy is looking forward to meeting his newest swim buddies, sharing friendship stories, the role swimming has played in building lifelong friends, and inspiring kids to reach for the stars and achieve their dreams.

"I have built such incredible friendships throughout my swimming career, even during my early days as a young kid at the pool," said Murphy. "My swim buddies are the ones who motivate me day-in and day-out to achieve greatness. It's a humbling experience to be part of this campaign to bring greater awareness to the benefits of swim lessons in helping develop social skills that truly do foster important childhood and lifelong friendships."

Goldfish Swim School understands how incredibly important social development is for every child. While it may seem that kids are just playing when they spend time with their peers, they are learning lessons like sharing, empathy, problem solving and patience. Group swim lessons can provide a tremendous opportunity for socialization, helping kids grow and learn in new ways.

"Socialization is such an important part of child development, but the pandemic brought that to quick halt, leaving many parents wondering if their children are deprived of an important developmental step – peer-to-peer interaction," said Dr. Molly O'Shea of Birmingham Pediatrics + Wellness Center and official pediatrician of Goldfish Swim School. "In addition to finding virtual options for socializing, parents are vetting in-person activities for safety that will give their children opportunities for building relationships based on shared experiences."

With all schools committed to operating above and beyond city and state COVID guidelines, Goldfish Swim School provides swim lessons and water safety instruction to infants and children ages four months to 12 years, teaching children how to be safer in and around the water. Each school offers swim lessons and programs using a proprietary philosophy, The Science of SwimPlay®, to build life skills both in and out of the water using play-based learning in a fun and safe environment. Each school's number one focus and main priority is always the same – educating children on water safety while teaching them how to swim and respect the water.

"It's such a rewarding experience to watch the incredible friendships being built at our schools," said Goldfish Swim School Co-Founder Jenny McCuiston, who has a degree in Early Childhood Education. "This campaign launch comes at a perfect time as we roll out our brand-new referral program where our current members can play an active role in welcoming more families back to the pool. We have put such an important emphasis on building out COVID safety protocols at our schools because we know how important social interactions are for child development and want to ensure families feel safe and comfortable – that's our number one priority."

For more information on Goldfish Swim School, please visit https://www.goldfishswimschool.com/.

Founded by husband and wife team Chris and Jenny McCuiston, Goldfish Swim School provides swim lessons and water safety instruction to infants and children ages four months to 12 years. Classes are offered by specially trained instructors in a safe, child-friendly and fun environment using their research-based philosophy called The Science of SwimPlay®. Headquartered in Troy, Michigan, Goldfish Swim School was established in Birmingham, Michigan in 2006, and opened its first franchise location in 2009. Recently, the brand was recognized by Entrepreneur in its Franchise 500® ranking, Franchise Times' Fast & Serious List, and Inc. Magazine's Top 5000. Goldfish Swim School is currently in the process of expanding franchise opportunities throughout North America, with more than 110 schools open, and an additional 130+ in development in more than 30 states and Canada.

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