Free swimming lessons in Mansfield
LOCAL Mansfield swim school Mansfield Aquatics has thrown its support behind a community safety initiative to prevent childhood drownings.
Mansfield Aquatics will be offering free swimming lessons for kids under five during national Learn2Swim Week.
Learn2Swim Week will run from September 23 to October 2 this year.
Registrations are now open and parents can already book their free lessons by visiting www.learn2swimweek.com and sign their under-fives up to learn vital water safety skills, free of charge.
John O’Brien, chief executive officer of Poolwerx, the company behind the initiative, has urged parents to sign up their kids.
“Drowning is still the leading cause of preventable deaths in children under five in Australia,” Mr O’Brien said.
Ambassador of Learn2Swim Week and former Olympic swim coach, Laurie Lawrence, said a recent study commissioned by Poolwerx found that over 30 per cent of Australian parents with children under five were not taking them to swimming lessons, even though nearly a quarter of those parents surveyed said they or a family member had experienced a near-drowning event.
“It’s never too early to start teaching your kids water safety skills, at 4-6 months infants are ready to start formal swimming lessons,” Mr Lawrence said.
“If a child is taught water safety skills early, and with regular practice generally by the time they are 18 months old they can move over deep water and return to the safety of the side of the pool.”
Mr Lawrence said the study found that over half of parents surveyed said they didn’t think their children had the swimming and water safety skills to get themselves out of a pool if they fell in.
“That is a real worry, so we’re tackling this by encouraging swim schools around the country to offer free lessons during Learn2Swim Week,” Mr Lawrence said.
LEARN2SWIM WEEK: Former Olympic swim coach Laurie Lawrence in the water with young students during Learn2Swim week.