Mermaid Teaches Benefits of Swimming to Disadvantage Youth
Organized by: Keith White
Merle Liivand is not only a world-class international swimmer but someone who intends making a difference through swimming and educating disadvantage yourth worldwide. This world class champion, besides taking part in open swimming champions after her retirement from the sport in 2010, is these days, a swimming coach in Florida. One of her swimming projects includes ‘Mermaid (and Merman) Swimming’. This teaches people of all ages not only to overcome their fear of water but to enjoy the experience and health benefits of swimming as well. Sessions during the classes include mermaid kicking, swimming underwater, and something the children enjoy, ‘blowing mermaid/merman kisses’. In this way, not only do they lose their fear of the water, but learn swimming skills as well. Her greatest wish is to be able to teach some of her classes to children during the Rio Olympics, 2016. Merle was featured on ABC Good Morning. The life of “The Little Mermaid” is becoming a reality in New York. Merle Liivand wishes to go to Rio with the express aim of helping with the upliftment of the sport. She has in mind education in water sports, especially with children who are disadvantaged and who come from poorer socio-economic backgrounds and favelas. This includes coaching these youngsters. For her to make this dream come true, funding and donations are needed. As Merle Says: “If you don’t know how, believe, and you will.” Overcoming a fear of water leads to overcoming fears in other aspects of your life as well. The project, therefore, teaches children that fear itself is a challenge. When you overcome your fear, you succeed in anything you set your mind to, no matter the obstacle. This form of teaching, where swimming becomes fun, is different from most conventional methods. Swimming is, essentially, taught as a playful, fun activity, and engages the mind. The best part of her job, according to Merle, is: “To be around people who are scared of water, and seeing them become water lovers and seeing that smile, you can’t put that into words.” To make this happen, the project envisioned needs sponsorhips and donations. Please consider making the ‘how’ a reality. Who is Merle Liivand? Merle, a competitive swimmer, open water swimmer, and aquapreneur (as the CEO of SWIMERIA that distributes swimwear and skincare products throughout the Baltics and Scandinavia), hails from Tallinn, Estonia. During her career, she was the Baltic States Champion in both the 100m and 200m breaststroke events and an Estonian National Swim Team Member. Merle also took part in a number of international competitions during the course of her career. These include the World Youth Champions, the World Cup series, and the European Olympic Festival. These days Merle Liivand splits her time between Florida and Estonia. While in Florida, she helps Special Olympics aquatic athletes and has competed in a number of competitions. These include the 2015 Swim Miami 10kn marathon swim as well as the 2015 Swim Miami Mile on North Beach that she won. Her participation in the 10kmm Marathon Swimming Qualification Race in Setúbal Bay, Portugal, saw her finishing in a time of 2 hours and 22 minutes. Her list of swimming accomplishments includes: Baltic State Champion (gold medal in 100m, 200m breaststroke, and 4x100m medley relay) Florida Winter Champion (50m breaststroke) SWIM MIAMI 10km (age group winner, 1-mile overall female winner) EU Invitation Orland (3 times gold medalist) Family Challenge Ironman Relay winner Olympic Distance Miami Zoo triathlon silver and bronze medalist Estonian-Finnish Dual Match 3 times gold medalist Multiple times Estonian Champion in Youth, Junior, and Adult categories How to Sponsor or Support Merle If you believe education is important for all people to help advance themselves over life challenges. Then please support this inspiring athlete.