As most of Australia is blessed with warm weather this summer, so to the number of children using our various waterways increase. However, this summer has been a particularly tragic one for many families in Australia, with 15 people drowning in NSW between Christmas Day and 5th January alone. The location of these drownings has varied, from backyard pools to rivers, lakes or ocean. However these tragedies happened, many families have been left grieving those loved ones taken from them. This summer it has been apparent that learning to swim is a vital lesson that everyone should have – whether they be child or adult.
What Can Be Done about Learning to Swim?
The Victorian Government has recently announced a plan to make swimming classes a compulsory part of the school curriculum. The idea being to ensure that all children by year 6 should be able to swim 50 metres. However this may not be as easy as it seems with cost and time restraints already limiting most schools.
In NSW, the Government currently pays for the swimming tuition for children in Years two to six, although the parents still cover the cost of pool entry and transport.
Should the responsibility of learning to swim be left to the parents? For some families this would be a cost that would be out of their capabilities.
There is no easy way to ensure that everyone has the opportunity of learning to swim. Many parents take on the responsibility themselves, sometimes at great monetary and time expense. There are plenty of learning to swim opportunities available to people around Australia. A simple search on the internet will uncover a number of swim schools.
We’ve listed some of the larger organisations below:
However it is achieved, in a country where swimming and water activities makes up such a large part of our recreational lives, making sure our children have the opportunity of learning to swim is a must. Basic water safety & personal survival skills are vital.