Free swim­ming lessons in Mans­field

Mansfield Courier - - NEWS -

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.

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