Swim safe seen as important message
Olympic swimmer Matthew Stanley spends a lot of time in the swimming pool, but last week he got into the Matamata pool not to train but to encourage primary school aged children to learn to swim safe.
The 22-year-old found time in his training schedule to fit in getting involved in the Swim Safe course, as he believed learning to swim was an extremely important skill for young children to learn.
In fact he used to coach Matamata children on how to swim safe.
‘‘I’m spending time in Matamata over Christmas before my build up to the Worlds competition really kicks up a gear in January, so I thought I’d come help out,’’ he said.
He spent time chatting with the children and doing a few laps with them.
The Stanley Swim Safe Programme aims to teach children aged between 5 and 13 how to swim and keep safe in the water.
Classes are taught twice a week and are taken by fully qualified Swimming New Zealand instructors.
According to Water Safety New Zealand, an average of 105 New Zealanders have drowned every year since 2006.
The Stanley family have been long term supporters of swim- ming. Stanley Construction company director Don Stanley was director of swimming for the 1990 Commonwealth Games and was awarded an OBE in 1991 for his services to swimming and local government. Don’s grandson, Matthew Stanley, competed at the recent Commonwealth Games. He plans to compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
If you are interested in registering a child for Swim Safe, contact Kazuko Tapper on 888 9192.
STAR SWIMMER: Olympic swimmer Matthew Stanley with Matamata children who are learning to swim safe.