Free swimming lessons at YMCA Victoria Point and Cleveland Aquatic Centre in Learn2Swim Week 2018

LEARNING: YMCA Victoria Point swim students Aria Foody, Jack Jones, Leland Foody, Franky Diack with instructor Bev Newton.
LEARNING: YMCA Victoria Point swim students Aria Foody, Jack Jones, Leland Foody, Franky Diack with instructor Bev Newton.

Local swim schools YMCA Victoria Point and Cleveland Aquatic Centre will offer free lessons for children under five as part of national Learn2Swim Week.

The campaign is held as part of initiatives to kerb childhood drowning.

Learn2Swim Week is from October 2 until 5.

The week-long event is supported by Poolwerx.

Poolwerx Redland Bay’s Wayne O’Malley urged parents to take advantage of the free lessons.

“Last year there were tragically 29 drowning deaths in children aged zero to four years, with three quarters of these deaths resulting from a fall into the water,” Mr O’Malley said.

“That is why it is so important to familiarise kids with water at an early age and swimming lessons can provide under-fives with the lifesaving skills they need to know to get themselves out of trouble.”

Poppy Morris learns swimming skills at YMCA Victoria Point.

Poppy Morris learns swimming skills at YMCA Victoria Point.

Brian McKenzie from Poolwerx Birkdale said Learn2Swim Week helped to spread the message to parents that children could begin water familiarisation lessons from as early as four to six months of age and that by 18 months of age, children who have attended regular swimming lessons have the skills they need to get themselves safely back to the side of the pool.

“Our survey of parents who participated in Learn2Swim Week last year showed that 60 per cent went on to enroll their under-fives in regular swimming lessons,” Mr McKenzie said.

“The free swimming lessons our local swim schools are providing during Learn2Swim Week give parents the opportunity to get their under-fives familiar with water and see firsthand the benefits of teaching them lifesaving water skills.”

Learn2Swim Week has been running for four years.

Program ambassador Laurie Lawrence said local swim schools were showing they were at the forefront of water safety awareness in young children.

“Local swim schools like YMCA Victoria Point and Cleveland Aquatic Centre are helping us to reach our goal of zero drownings in under-fives and I encourage all parents with children under five to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity,” Mr Lawrence said.

For information visit learn2swimweek.com.