As swimming is a life skill not readily taught to children in the localities, the Baguio-Benguet Triathlon team has crafted a program to address the lack of swimming skills among children and even adults.
Coach Lou Ann Ramos said the Learn to Swim program is necessary to equip children with the swimming skills they need, aside from it being a sport and physical exercise.
Ramos, who leads the grassroots team with her husband Jet, said they thought of the swimming program as an anti-drowning tool for children.
There are reports of drowning almost every year involving local residents. She cited an incident in December last year when a promising young track and field athlete who had the best time in the running track and was due to join the Palarong Pambansa, died due to drowning while on vacation.
The incident might have been prevented if the young athlete had the proper swimming training, Ramos said.
“So that’s what we’ve been doing with Jet in the past two years – inviting and adding swimming lessons to the young ones and also to adults,” Ramos said.
The team has been training adults and children proper swimming techniques from the basics up to the higher level depending on the learners.
She said the basic thing to learn in swimming is floating, which will help the learner get comfortable on the water and remove the anxiety from being on water.
During the height of the pandemic, the couple has trained some children and adults, where some have gone on to improve their skills and decided to try running and biking. This resulted in the team raising athletes who went on to join duathlon and triathlon races in the locality.
The team has produced multi-sports athletes who are in the Philippine pool of athletes such as the couple’s sons Joshua and Dayshaun, and one of the products of their grassroots program, Powerman Duathlon Malaysia bronze medalist Maynard Pecson. Their youngest son, Arrow, is also on his way to become a member of the Philippine multi-sports team.
For more details about the program, visit or message the Baguio Benguet Triathlon Facebook account. – Ofelia C. Empian