Back to school with swimming
West Wave Pool and Leisure Centre is helping more kids to swim in 2017.
Its Learn to Swim programme is coming back for schools after more than three years absence, said West Wave Pool and Leisure Centre’s senior centre manager, Glenn Quintal.
He said it’s a new focus for them. Learn to Swim is subsidised for schools with funding provided by the Greater Auckland Aquatic Plan (GAAP), he said.
GAAP is managed by AktiveAuckland Sport and Recreation in partnership with Water Safety New Zealand.
It is targeted at schools decile 1-6, the Aktive Auckland Sport and Recreation website said.
It said 90 per cent of 7 to 10-yearolds from Auckland primary schools, decile 6 and under, cannot swim 200 metres.
Quintal said GAAP co-ordinates with the schools and they provide the education.
He said four west Auckland primary schools are using the initiative this year, and through the school programme they will reach around 500 kids.
Schools who don’t meet GAAP criteria can still use Learn to Swim directly through West Wave at a discounted price, Quintal said.
It’s about working with the schools to ensure the water safety of their children, he said.
The manager said they have a quiet gap during the school day where there is ‘‘open water’’, outside their morning and evening peak times, and they are trying to maximise the use of their facilities.
The Learn to Swim programme also offers private lessons for all ages.
They can have 3000 swimmers a week in the programme plus their caregivers, some swimming and some spectators, he said.
Quintal said the Learn to Swim team is focused on growing the programme.
He said the centre can have around 100,000 people visiting a month and over 1 million visitors per year.
Quintal said they have a wide range from ages visiting from 6-month-olds in the Learn to Swim pool.
The manager said West Wave is known for reaching capacity and in school holidays they can have a line out the door.
He said a big part of the New Zealand psyche is being in an aquatic environment.
An important part for them is ensuring people are safe.
West wave is open Monday to Friday from 5.30am-9.30pm and on weekends from 6am-9.30pm. Children 16 and under swim free.
Go to aucklandleisure.co.nz for more info.