Dispelling the myths around barriers to swimming
Recently we talked about the fact that our children are leaving swimming lessons before they are competent in the water – so let’s look at each of the perceived barriers to swimming participation – and dispel the myths.
Time: Half an hour once a week is all it takes to progress your child’s swimming journey, and we offer lessons 7 days a week, via intensive programs, or as group or private lessons – there is an approach to suit every family’s schedule.
Competing after school activities: Again, it comes down to priorities. Soccer, gymnastics and drama will not save my children’s lives, so they are secondary to swimming in my household, which is the non-negotiable activity until they reach swimming competency benchmarks.
Cost: I get it, families are expensive, and this year the pandemic has put even more pressure on the family budget. So we offer sibling discounts, discounted 2nd weekly lessons, and discounted school holiday intensive blocks, with lessons as low as $10. School aged children are also eligible for two $100 Active Kids Vouchers every year. Put simply, we can’t afford for our children not to be able to swim.
Swimming is a summer sport: Consistency is one of the most important factors when teaching a child to swim, and our pools are heated all year round. Time off during winter will result in loss of skills, which is a waste of the time and money already spent on swimming lessons. Unfortunately, drownings occur all year round, and drowning remains the number one cause of accidental death in children under 5.
Reluctance from children: Resistance is sometimes the result of boredom. Overcome any reluctance and increase confidence by making swimming educational, FUN, and creating positive associations with water. There are lots of great animated videos online from Kids Alive, Do The 5, and we provide free preschool and community water safety visits with puppets, our mascot ‘Paddles the Platypus’, songs, dance and games to communicate water safety messages. We run ‘Aqua Fun 4 Kids’ fun aquarobics classes in the school holidays, and all of our lessons are designed for our students to enjoy the process of learning to swim, and feel safe and supported at every stage. Be a role model by demonstrating enthusiasm and proficiency in the water yourself!
Misinformation from untrustworthy sources: Some of things I’ve read are not only wrong, they are assumptive, irresponsible, judgemental, and devastatingly hurtful to parents who may have lost children to drowning. We are always available to talk you through any queries you might have about learning to swim and swim safety. Please ask us, not the internet.
The truth is, our children are never 100% safe around the water. Swimming lessons are one of the most important ways to ensure they are Safer. See you soon!