Swim schools wanted to back child safety initiative

Swim schools across the country are being urged to throw their support behind a child safety initiative designed to get more young children in the water learning to swim.

Running from 23 September to 2 October, Learn2Swim Week offers parents and carers the opportunity to access free swimming lessons for under 5s from partnering swim schools throughout Australia.

Major advocate of Learn2Swim Week, Laurie Lawrence from Kids Alive Do The Five, said cost was often a reason parents gave for not enrolling their children in swim classes.

“This is a tragedy; that something like cost prevents children getting lessons that could one day save their life,” Laurie said. “We know the ability to swim is one of the most important factors in reducing the risk of childhood drowning, so we need to introduce more kids to swimming lessons as early as possible.”

Supported by all the major industry associations AUST SWIM, ASSA and SWIM Australia, swim schools are being asked to back Learn2Swim Week by registering their school on the Learn2Swim Week website and offering free swimming lessons to participating children under 5.

“Ideally, offering a 5-lesson intensive course is recommended but even if a swim school can provide one free lesson it might just help prove to a parent how vital learning about water safety is. It’s a great way for swim schools to show their local community they care about saving children’s lives,” Laurie said.

Now in its 4th year, Learn2Swim Week is the progression of Learn to Swim Week. The name adaption brings with it a new logo and new website: learn2swimweek.com. The initiative also has a new goal; to sign up 500 swim schools in 2017.

CEO and Founder of Poolwerx, John O’Brien, who’s company initiated and grew the campaign nationally, said they were excited about the new look for Learn2Swim Week and the new user-friendly website.

“Since we started in 2013 we have doubled the amount of swim schools participating in the safety initiative each year and we are hoping 2017 will be no different. There are over 900 swim schools in this country and we would like every one of them supporting the cause. The more swim schools that partner with us the closer we get to our ultimate goal of zero drownings in under-fives.

“Marketing, advertising and public relations support is provided to schools to help them make the most of this program. We realise the effort and sacrifice it takes to participate so we aim to make it as easy as possible for the swim schools.

“I encourage interested swim schools to check out the website learn2swimweek.com to find out more or contact one of the industry associations for further details."