Back to school with swim­ming

Western Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - BEATRICE RAN­DELL

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.

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