Almost 100 swim schools across Australia offered more than 5000 free swimming lessons for children aged under five from September 29 to October 3 as part of Learn to Swim Week 2014.
The national initiative was introduced by Laurie Lawrence’s Kids Alive – Do the Five and Poolwerx to celebrate the importance of teaching kids aged under five to swim and to remind all Australians about water safety ahead of the swimming season.
It was launched as new research by Poolwerx showed 48 per cent of children aged under five aren’t receiving official swimming lessons and more than one third (36 per cent) of those who were, weren’t doing so all year round.
The findings also indicated almost three quarters of parents (71 per cent) said they weren’t confident their child could swim and 40 per cent said their child’s swimming ability was inadequate for their age.
Laurie Lawrence says he was thrilled with the success of the program in its first year as a nationwide initiative and that the importance of water safety education for young children couldn’t be overstressed.
“With nearly half of all Aussie kids aged under five not receiving official swimming lessons, we wanted to do something on a national scale to give our children the opportunity to learn to swim at such an important time of the year,” he says.