“I love being around kids, and for me to come and learn and spend my time with them to make them happy makes me happy too.” – Tacko Fall, Center, Boston Celtics
Tacko Fall, the rookie for the Boston Celtics, dropped in at BGCB’s Charlestown Club for a surprise visit to take a swim lesson with seven happy members. In spite of Fall’s childhood spent on the coasts of Senegal, the 7’7″ Center never learned how to swim, and was taking advantage of the opportunity to learn while also bringing excitement to dozens of Charlestown Club members and staff.
“I love being around kids,” said Fall. “And for me to come and learn and spend my time with them to make them happy makes me happy too.”
Showcasing Charlestown Club Aquatics
The lesson was led by Charlestown Club Aquatics Director and Club alumnus Colby Cahill, and showcased the comprehensive approach the Club takes to teaching members how to swim.
After group introductions and reviewing safety rules, the first part of the lesson was focused on “Bobs,” which is a breathing technique of blowing bubbles under the water. This helps swimmers get comfortable with putting their face under the water, and become familiar with what they should be doing while swimming.
Next up were “Blast Offs,” where Fall and members pushed off of the wall toward the center of the pool as if they were rockets accelerating forward. Cahill also incorporated kick boards to help Fall and his fellow swimmers work on kicking skills and strengthen the necessary leg muscles.
“I’m a natural,” pronounced Fall after the lesson. “You guys didn’t see that? I was kicking my legs, I was pushing, and I was just having fun with the kids.”
At the end of the lesson, the class had fun playing pool game Marco Polo.
Sending a Valuable Message to Youth Across Massachusetts
Fall’s impact goes beyond his visit. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury death among Massachusetts children ages 0-14, and Fall’s willingness to learn sets a great example that it is never too late to pick up the valuable skill.
“He’s showing these kids something important,” said Josh Kraft, Nicholas President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston. “It’s never too late. It’s never embarrassing to try something you don’t know how to do.”
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The mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston is to help young people, especially those who need us most, build strong character and realize their full potential as responsible citizens and leaders. We do this by providing a safe haven filled with hope and opportunity, ongoing relationships with caring adults, and life-enhancing programs.