It’s learning a lifesaving skill.
Its shocking to know that new research done by the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) shows that 1 in 3 children now leave primary school are unable to swim – up from the previously reported figure of 1 in 5.
The research has revealed that around 200,000 children will leave primary school this summer unable to swim, amounting to an astonishing 2 million non-swimmers over the next ten years.
Children are not achieving the National Curriculum target of swimming 25 metres unaided by age 11 and 40% of those children who can’t swim haven’t even been offered the opportunity of learning to swim.
This shows we cannot rely on the education system in teaching this essential life skill. More than 400 people drown each year in the UK, and that drowning is the third most common cause of accidental death in children.
It states in the guidelines for schools that: ”Each child should be safe in and around water, and a key element of this is being able to swim a minimum of 25 metres unaided.” This is not being met and it’s worrying that for a nation living on an island so many cannot swim.
We are seeing a new generation of parents that cannot swim and therefore cannot teach their children or at least pass on the basic skills. Many adults are nervous in and around the water and children grow up with a fear of water.
We see children coming to our classes who have no concept of being in the water and we also coach adults who have never learned to swim. Swimming lessons are not there to find the next olympic champion, first of all its for learning a life saving skill and if that leads to a medal than that’s a bonus!
So many parents suddenly start thinking about swimming lessons when the summer holidays are approaching, but its not something you quickly learn like learning to ride your bike in a day. It takes time and the foundation of being able to swim starts with confidence in the water and a general enjoyment in and around the water.
If you have any questions about swimming with your child or you are thinking of having lessons yourself, please get in touch.