International Recognition of the Importance of Children Learning How to Swim for Health Recreation and Survival  

by Pool Builders on 08-21-2012 in Articles

Learning to swim has long been considered an important skill that must be learned during childhood. Major world religions have taught parents that it is an obligation on them as parents to teach their children how to swim. In the USA some colleges continue to require hopeful students to pass a swimming test before they can attend the university. As strange as this may seem to many of us, this was a requirement of most universities in the USA until recently. Recognizing how important this potentially lifesaving skill is, many countries now require swimming to be part of the school curriculum and all children must participate in a children's swimming class as part of the sport's program.

Swimming "Top up Scheme"

In the United Kingdom, legislation was passed making it mandatory for any child who couldn't swim 25 meters by the age of 11 to receive mandatory intensive swimming lessons each day for two weeks. Called the "Top Up Scheme" it was designed to address the problem that one in five school children couldn't swim the minimum distance, and this put the children at great risk both in the home and around when in or near pools, beaches and water features. Statistics also showed that children were drowning when on holidays in other countries.

Range of Skills Required

The Top up Program has been government funded since 2004 and is organised in association with amateur swimming clubs who often provide the instructors and facilities to conduct the program. Learning to swim is a major part of the program, but equally important for many children is the opportunity the program provides for them to develop their self-confidence in water. The swimming program provides technique and skill training in a fun and affirming environment. The success of this approach is the on-going improvement in swimming ability seen in the children who participate.

Private Lessons

Although schools provide swim training for children, many parents are choosing to supplement these lessons by enrolling their children into private lessons. These lessons need not be expensive and many public service organisations such as the YMCA provide cheaper options for swim classes for those who are unable to afford lessons elsewhere.

Technology and busy lifestyles have resulted in some families not having the required skills themselves to teach their children to swim. Children's swim classes provide safe and efficient environments for children of all ages and backgrounds to learn how to swim.

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