Olympian launches youth swimming foundation
Fourteen-time Olympic gold medallist Michael Phelps has announced the establishment of the Michael Phelps Foundation to empower children to lead healthy, active lives.
Phelps, a Baltimore, Maryland native, has pledged to donate the $1m (£500,000) bonus he received from Speedo for winning eight gold medals in Beijing to the foundation, which will benefit from an additional $200,000 donation from Speedo.
The foundation’s first initiative, in collaboration with Speedo, will be ‘Dream, Plan, Reach’, an educational programme based on principles that Phelps has applied to his life. The programme focuses on a healthy lifestyle that includes goal-setting, positive discipline in everyday life and taking on personal responsibility. The programme will be launched during a tour of eight cities across the US.
Phelps said, “Now, my goals reach beyond the pool, to helping others realize their dreams, and continuing to grow the sport I love so much.”
Phelps also visited Manhattan YMCA, in August, to deliver a cheque on behalf of another sponsor, VISA, as part of the Play Every day campaign. The donation will provide swimming lessons for inner city children.