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Water polo player teaching kids how to swim

Posted at 8:46 PM, Aug 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-13 12:00:05-04

LINCOLN PARK, Calif. (KGTV) — A water polo player is using his passion for the sport to teach kids how to swim.

"I'm really happy to be able to bring the opportunity that I've been able to have playing water polo to my own community," said Prince Asante Sefa-Boakye.

Sefa-Boakye played water polo for Coronado High School and went on to play the sport professionally overseas.

"Water polo and swimming... they're the only sports where you're learning life-saving skills," he said.

Now Sefa-Boakye, who's Ghanian, is teaching those life-saving skills to African communities through his non-profit Black Star Polo.

He partnered with Iftin Charter School in City Heights, where most students are children of Somali refugees.

"I guess people think because we're Muslim and we cover up, we can't swim, or we can't get into the water, but it is important for our safety, for anyone's safety," said Ayan Keyd.

Keyd brought her daughter to the five-day aquatic camp.

"This gives her a chance to be around people that are same as her... that wear hijab, that are Muslim, that she can relate to," said Keyd.

The camp began Monday at the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA with the children learning basic swim moves.

"Staying aloft, being okay blowing bubbles underwater to the eventually how can you make a stroke," said Sefa-Boakye.

On Friday, the kids learned how to play splash ball, a kid-friendly version of water polo.

Sefa-Boakye said it's not just swimming lessons they gain from the sport, but life lessons of overcoming adversity.

"I always said I'm going to be the one who works the hardest, and I want to share that same message that translates to academics, how you're going to act when you get a job," said Sefa-Boakye.