Swimming and School Swimming Carnivals

After a long hot summer break, parents all over Penrith are this week celebrating (or hating) their children being back at school for another year. However if your children are learning to swim, they might already be ahead of the game, with a study out of Griffith University suggesting swimming children are not only safer, but smarter.
The research conducted over four years has concluded that children who swim demonstrate more advanced cognitive and physical abilities than other children, and indicates that swimming children have many advantages when starting school.
Lead researcher Professor Robyn Jorgensen said “While we expected the children to show better physical development and perhaps be more confident through swimming, the results in literacy and numeracy really shocked us. The children were anywhere from six to 15 months ahead of the normal population when it came to cognitive skills, problem solving in mathematics, counting, language and following instructions.”
Professor Jorgensen said that as well as achieving physical milestones faster, the swimming children scored significantly better in visual-motor skills such as cutting paper, colouring in and drawing lines and shapes. She added “On average, these children were eleven months ahead of the normal population in Oral Expression, six months ahead in Mathematics Reasoning and two months ahead in Brief Reading. Most amazing was the difference in Story Recall (17 months ahead) and Understanding Directions (20 months ahead).”
While on the subject of school, many children (and parents) will this month experience their first school swimming carnival. I remember my school carnival days very fondly, but while they are great fun, remember the water and sun safety basics. Sunscreen is not optional and needs to be reapplied several times throughout the day. A broad rimmed hat, polo shirt and zinc in their house colour is ideal for further sun protection. Food, lots of water, a card game or book for the sometimes long waits between age groups and 2 towels (1 to use and 1 to sit on) are always handy, as is a waterproof bag to bring everything home. Always follow the instructions of the race official, and only enter the water when instructed to do so. And remember, hair sprayed in house colour/s may look great, but you probably won’t be allowed in the pool………we are giving away free swimming caps to our swim students in their house colours for them to wear to their school swimming carnivals instead!
Encourage your child to take the plunge! A high student participation rate makes for a fun and exciting day for all!