The first Goldfish Swim School has made a splash in Franklin at 1113 Murfreesboro Rd. in the Williamson Square Shopping Centre.

On Friday, May 17, the learn-to-swim facility hosted a ribbon cutting in partnership with Williamson, Inc.

“It’s not just the services they provide, it’s the great people,” said Nancy Conway, senior vice president of community relations for Williamson, Inc. “They have about 40 employees.”

The membership-based Goldfish Swim School franchise is based out of Birmingham, Michigan. Owners Lincoln and Darby Walden made their Franklin location the 89th for the organization.

“We’re so excited to be in Tennessee,” Lincoln said.

After living in Chicago for 20 years, the couple and their three boys made the move to Franklin almost one year ago. Darby Walden is originally from Clarksville.

“It was kind of wanting to come back home,” she said. “We realized there wasn’t anything like this here. The demographics and growth of Williamson County just seemed like a perfect catch.”

The Waldens had seen the program work for their own children, who all went through the Goldfish program in Chicago.

“We’ve seen first-hand as parents how it worked for our children,” Darby Walden said. “Not only did they learn to swim and were safe in the water, they learned all four of their strokes really efficiently. It takes the children to that next level if they want to go swim competitively or if they just want to be strong swimmers in the water.”

Water safety is the top priority for the Goldfish Swim School owners. They offer programs for children four months to 12 years old.

“We’re very passionate about teaching children to swim,” Lincoln Walden said. “We also want to lessen the number of drownings. We’re providing a service to prevent drowning and save more lives.”

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