Planet Swim was founded in 2009 primarily as a swim school with the mission of promoting and teaching water safety. We quickly realized that the Jacksonville area had many communities that, for various reasons, did not have access to resources such as pools and water safety instruction and we felt compelled to find a way to help fill that gap…with that in mind in 2011 the Planet Swim Foundation was founded.
The Planet Swim Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the sport of swimming through water safety & education. We believe that everyone should have an opportunity to learn how to swim regardless of their ability, race, background, and financial status. The mission is to facilitate the implementation of an affordable and inclusive learn-to-swim program in North East Florida, as we know firsthand how this life-saving skill can shape someone’s life for the better.
Thanks to the Planet Swim Foundation we’ve been able to establish several successful partnerships that have allowed us to share our love of the sport and everything that comes with it. For the past 10 years, we’ve offered summer swim lessons in all 3 major counties in NE Florida (Duval, Clay & St. Johns) by awarding over $60,000 in swimming scholarships, benefitting over 1,000 children and adults. We continue to be a resource for developing and advocating for the need for water safety & swimming developmental programs in our community. Most recently, we’ve partnered with the Peace of Heart Community in an effort to teach their residents with non-verbal autism how to swim. It is magical to see these folks in the water and the joy swimming brings to them! We can’t do any of these things without the Foundation and support of our families and community that make it possible.
Creation of the JAX50 Event
The very first JAX50 focused on helping one of our own, Olympic hopeful, Seun Adebiyi. After being diagnosed with lymphoblastic lymphoma and stem-cell leukemia, Seun had to put his Olympic dream on hold. In support of Seun’s fight, several Olympic medalists and world-class swimmers participated in the inaugural event, which raised $10,000 for DKMS Americas and brought 66 new bone marrow donors to their network.
Today, with unwavering support from swimmers, coaches, volunteers, and swimming enthusiasts, the JAX50 has arguably become one of the fastest swim meets in the world. Most importantly, as the primary fundraiser for the Planet Swim Foundation, it has raised and funded swim lessons for over 1,000 children and adults in Northeast Florida. Incredible swimmers like Ryan Lochte, Kara Lynn Joyce, Matt Grevers, Cullen Jones, Amanda Weir, Fred Bousquets, Thiago Pereira, Josh Schneider, Caleb Dressel, Madison Kennedy, Jessica Hardy, and many other Olympians have proudly supported the JAX50 by racing and teaching the young kids in our unique 3-day event format.