Christopher Battle

023 -touched up

From: West Philadelphia

Age: 25 (when interviewed in 2014)

First pool experience: Cobbs Creek, at 12

Work with the pools: As a lifeguard at James Finnegan since 2013

“My uncle taught me how to swim, and ever since it’s one of my passions. I love the pool. I love swimming. I think everybody should learn how to swim. That’s what we do at our pool. We try to get all the kids, we try to get the adults, we try to get everybody interactive with swimming, learning how to swim. Because a lot of people don’t know how to swim in the city, in the inner city. So it’s good to learn how to swim.

I’m in the pool every day. Some people wouldn’t know that swimming is one of my passions. I don’t talk about it a lot. Growing up, I played football; I ran track. A lot of people don’t know that I love swimming.

I tell everybody, “Get the fear out you.” A lot of people that we have swim lessons with, they say, “I’m scared!” You know. I just try to get the fear out of them. That’s the biggest thing with my swim lessons. Get the fear out. I’m here to teach you, as much as possible.

When I heard a couple years back that the mayor wanted to shut the pools down, I disliked that. I was like, wow. Me growing up – when I was growing up, that was our fun in the summertime, swimming. I want the pools to open. I wish they opened all year-round. (We have some – but there’s only a few.) I like the fact that all the public pools are open. Everybody should go out and at least get a swim in the summertime.”

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