Swim Story – Chase Katoa

We love to hear your swim stories, and sometimes some of our youngest students can inspire us the most!
Some might say Chase Katoa has sporting talent in his DNA. Dad Sione Katoa plays 1st grade NRL (with the Penrith Panthers until signing for 2020 with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), and Mum Jade Grant recently competed in the 2019 NSWRL Harvey Norman Woman’s Premiership Grand Final, representing the Mount Pritchard Mounties. 4 year old Chase is this year excelling in the water, starting in our first independent swimming level of Squids in March and progressing to the next level to become a Playtypus under 3 months by July – and is now swimming on his own and learning swimming strokes!
When asked what prompted Chase’s parents to start their eldest son in swimming lessons earlier this year, Mum Jade says “We have a pool at home, and wanted Chase to be more confident, and able to swim independently, without floaties. Obviously safety is an issue – the better he can swim, the less chance he has of drowning”. Jade added, “It was hard at first as he cried for the first 3 weeks of lessons” but urges other parents to “persevere, even if they cry – it’s worth it.” This is a point of view that we support as it can take up to 6 weeks for children to settle into lessons, a time that many parents find challenging – however the reward for hanging in there is achieving important swimming skills & increased water safety.
In addition to the safety benefits, swimming lessons have proven to be an enjoyable part of the Katoa family’s week. “Chase still gets excited for every lesson, and I enjoy bringing him. We have been really impressed with all the teachers he’s had, they are an amazing crew, and they can cater for every child, and how they need to be taught – different kids need different things. ”Jade adds, “For example, Anne is strict, which is what Chase needs!”
Sione and Jade are part of a rapidly growing group of parents who are opting for multiple swimming lessons per week to fast track their child’s swimming skills*. Jade explains “2 lessons a week means Chase is able to progress faster, especially now that he is learning freestyle and backstroke. Chase loves swimming, and I can see him doing it in the future, as his sport”.
Chase continues to attend his weekly lessons, and younger brother Credence is set to follow in his footsteps and start in our Squids level next week, just short of his second birthday. We wish both boys the very best to learn the swimming skills they need for safety and for life, and thank parents Sione and Jade for their commitment to lessons!
*Nepean Aquatic Centre and Eva Borys Swim School now offer 2nd and subsequent weekly lessons for just $10 per lesson (less with sibling discounts), to enable more families to attend multiple weekly lessons and fast track their child’s swimming skills.