Swimming is not one of my favourite sports...sure I enjoy getting into water and having a bit of a splash, I am not a particularly strong swimmer. Plus, it needs to be really hot weather for me to get into water and although swimming is suggested as an ideal sport for asthmatics, I find swimming (in pools) seems to make me wheezy. However, despite my avoidance of water sports, I do see the benefits of teaching children to swim and I am very thankful that my parents took me to swimming lessons.
This week I have had my dose of chlorine as I have supervised children at their swimming lessons. It has been wonderful that all of the children have looked forward to their lesson everyday. However, once they are in the water, it has been interesting to see their reactions. Some children are very confident in the water, perfecting their strokes, ducking underneath the water and up again with ease and enjoyment. Others, are more tentative. They are confident when they can touch the bottom or if their heads are above the water, but as soon as they are out of their depth, they are apprehensive and want to cling to the instructor.
Living in Australia where water activities are common, I do see the importance in equipping children with skills to survive if they ever get into trouble in the water. Not only do children gain in confidence and enjoy time in the water with swimming lessons, they could be life saving at some stage in their lives. Check out lessons from your local pool or swimming association. Laurie Laurence developed a program called 'Kids Alive - Do the Five!' to try and prevent accidental drowning deaths of children. The link to this website is http://www.kidsalive.com.au/index.php
Whatever you do this weekend, have a happy and safe one!