LIFE

Son Continues Father’s Legacy Of Teaching Generations Of Kids How To Swim In His Backyard

by Lindsey Smith
Lindsey is from Florida and has worked in online and print media. Her happy place is Michaels craft store.

If you visit Marvin Thorpe’s backyard pool on a summer day, you won’t find him leisurely floating around on a raft. Instead, you’ll see him in the pool surrounded by a dozen or so children doing swimming exercises.

Marvin learned how to swim when he was four years old in his family’s backyard pool in 1972 after he accidentally fell in.

Since then, his father started teaching kids right in the family’s backyard. Amounting to over 15,000 children in total.

Forty-five years later, the Thorpe’s pool is still full of eager children wanting to learn how to swim. After his father’s death in 2004, Marvin knew he had to continue his father’s legacy.

“It’s something that I was programmed to do,” Marvin said. “My dad taught me how to do this and so, it’s not that hard for me, it’s really easy! I enjoy doing it — I really do!”

One might think that Marvin would want his summers back after so many years, but he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Instead, he wants to expand to a larger pool that will give him access to teaching children year-round.

“I’ve been in the backyard forever and I aspire to get out of here,” Marvin says. “I’m looking to get an indoor facility where I can do all year long.”

If Marvin’s story inspired you, please SHARE this video with all the swimmers you know!

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