Life is better when WE SWIM
WE SWIM is a new initiative from Royal Life Saving Australia in conjunction with Australian aquatic industry partners inspiring parents across Australia to take action to ensure their children enjoy all the benefits of swimming.
Why should we swim? We’ve all missed out on so much because of COVID-19, with swim schools and local pools across the country hit hard by mandated closures and restrictions. Millions of lessons have been missed. This threatens to have tragic consequences for many Australians and may create a generation of non-swimmers.
The Royal Life Savings Australia research statistics paint a stark picture. 25% of children enrolled in lessons are aged between 2 and 4 years old, however many do not stay after the age of 8, with many children dropping out of lessons well before they have developed a comprehensive set of swimming and water safety skills. 40% of 12 year old’s are unable to meet the national benchmark for swimming and water safety of being able to swim continuously for 50 metres or float for 2 minutes in deep.
Disturbingly, COVID led closures have amplified a long-term trend of children in this critical age group not taking or continuing lessons. 61% of parents reported a covid related barrier for non-participation in swim lessons, and 52% of parents thought that pool closures had negatively impacted on their child’s swimming skills.
Given our national lifestyle, swimming is a vital life skill. Not being able to swim diminishes enjoyment of life and puts lives at risk, now and in the future. When children learn to swim, it opens up a world of possibility. They get the opportunity to enjoy water activities and be involved in water-based sports, school camps, beach holidays, riverside camping and playing with friends and family at the pool, just to name a few.
Through swimming lessons, they learn to recognise and understand risk factors as they enter their teens and adulthood to be able to make better decisions in and around the water to keep themselves and those around them safe.
So our wish for 2022 is to see the swimming and water safety skills of all Australians improve in 2022, and to see children reach all of the recommended swimming benchmarks, for lifelong safe and active participation in physical aquatic activities and recreation. If your children re not yet in lessons – please enrol them. If your children are learning to swim – keep them in lessons until they are truly competent.
Love to Swim, Swim for Safety, Swim for Life!