It’s Love & Friendship Month at Goldfish Swim School, and this year we’re teaming up with a few of our friends to celebrate all the creative ways our Goldfish Family continues to spread love and kindness, and the fintastic friendships that are formed through swimming.

Continue reading to learn more about the giveaway we’re hosting with our swim buddy and World Champion Swimmer Ryan Murphy, and why Dr. Molly says swimming is a safe way to support children’s need for social interaction!


Cartoon image of Ryan Murphy and Bubbles with text saying Fintastic Friendships

This past year taught us the importance of friendship, and what it means to come together – even while staying apart.

As hard as it was for us as adults to make that transition, it was even harder for our kids. They went from seeing their best friends every day to only seeing them on computer screens. Yet despite the distance, they still found creative ways to stay connected with friends and family.

Whether it was a birthday party parade or leaving chalk art surprises in their friends’ driveways, having socially-distanced picnics in the park or taking swim lessons together at Goldfish, their dedication to being a true friend is something we want to celebrate!

Since this month is all about celebrating love and friendship, we’re teaming up with our swim buddy Ryan Murphy to give away Goldfish prize packs your kids can share with their friends. One lucky grand prize winner will also get the chance to host a Zoom Party for five of their closest friends with Ryan before he heads out to the 2021 Olympic Trials

Each week throughout February, we’ll announce one winner on our social media channels on ‘Fintastic Friends Friday’, so be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Instagram.



Ryan says the friends he’s made through swimming have become some of his best friends, and that their support, in and out of the pool, has helped push him to reach his fullest potential.

“I have built such incredible friendships throughout my swimming career, even during my early days as a young kid at the pool,” said Ryan. “My swim buddies are the ones who motivate me day-in and day-out to achieve greatness. It’s a humbling experience to be part of this campaign to bring greater awareness to the benefits of swim lessons in helping develop social skills that truly do foster important childhood and lifelong friendships.”

Our good friend Dr. Molly O’Shea, a lifelong swimmer and board-certified pediatrician at Birmingham Pediatrics + Wellness, also understands the important role swim lessons can play in building various social skills needed to grow and nurture such friendships.

“Socialization is such an important part of child development, but the pandemic brought that to quick halt, leaving many parents wondering if their children are deprived of an important developmental step – peer-to-peer interaction,” she said. “In addition to finding virtual options for socializing, parents are vetting in-person activities for safety that will give their children opportunities for building relationships based on shared experiences. In person opportunities provide the best chance for kids to connect and form relationships, and shared interests and activities are a great way for kids to find their next great friend!”

While it may seem like kids are just playing when they spend time together, they’re also building valuable social skills like sharing, empathy, communication and conflict resolution. And at Goldfish, we’ve created a safe, fun and welcoming environment that allows kids to socialize while they learn and grow in new ways.

Sometimes it’s easier to learn certain things by watching others. Many kids are observers and like to see someone else, like their swim buddy, do something before they give it a try. Watching a swim buddy getting instruction on how to get more impactful kicks can also help the concept click for kids who are waiting for their turn.

Group lessons also provide an opportunity for kids to help each other, offering tips and tricks to master a skill or providing comfort and motivation to try a new technique. It is all about learning, picking up on social cues and getting through new situations – together – because that’s what friends are for!

“It’s such a rewarding experience to watch the incredible friendships being built at our schools,” said our Co-Founder Jenny McCuiston, who has a degree in Early Childhood Education. “Our entire swim lesson philosophy, The Science of SwimPlay®, was created on the foundation of building important life skills using play-based learning in a fun and safe environment. These social skills – like teamwork, following instruction, sharing and interacting with peers – can play an important role in building ever-important childhood friendships, and it’s our goal to continue to find safe ways to make a positive impact in the lives of children and their families.”


Student and instructor reach for a high five in a swimming pool

We feel fortunate to be able to continue doing what we love, and would like to thank all of those who have trusted Goldfish Swim School to provide a safe place for children to move, grow and learn lifesaving skills during this turbulent time.

With the ability to provide a controlled learning environment, swim lessons at Goldfish remain one of the few non-contact activities children can safely participate in, and literally the only extracurricular activity that can save their lives!



Students sit poolside with their arms extended towards the water

Swimming is always better with friends! Ask your local Goldfish Swim School about their new referral program to learn how you can earn rewards for introducing your family and friends to a golden swim lesson experience.