Diving to help kids learn to swim
QUEENSLAND parents believe preschool children are too young to learn to swim, according to concerning new figures obtained exclusively by News Queensland.
The survey, undertaken ahead of Learn2Swim Week, revealed a quarter of parents believed their child was too young to start, while nearly a third struggled with the cost, with many prioritising sports or other extra-curricular activities over swimming.
From today families can register for up to a week of free swimming lessons in October for children under the age of five, with spots expected to fill up fast.
It follows News Queensland's Save Our Schoolkids campaign in February which pushed for compulsory swimming lessons for Queensland children.
Former Olympic swimmer Melanie Wright (nee Schlanger) will launch the national initiative today and said the number of families avoiding swimming lessons is "scary".
The gold-medallist, who has an 18-month-old daughter with fellow Olympic swimmer Chris, started lessons for her child at four-months-old, and said it was a good family bonding experience, as well as a lifesaving skill.
"I really see it like a fundamental life skill, just as you would teach kids to look both ways when crossing the road," she said.
"We try to have Maddie swim twice every week, even through winter since having the winter months off can mean lots of time is spent relearning skills and slowing progression."
More than 400 Australian swimming schools, including many across Queensland, are taking part in Learn2Swim between October 2-9.
Registrations are essential at learn2swimweek.com
PARTICIPATING SWIM SCHOOLS - BRISBANE
CANNON HILL: Hollands Swim School
CARINDALE: Kingswim Carindale
CHERMSIDE: Chermside Aquatic Centre
DEAGON: Rackley Swimming Deagon
FERNY GROVE: Ferny Hills Swimming Pool
GUMDALE: The Plantation Swim School
LUTWYCHE: Kingswim Lutwyche
MIDDLE PARK: SoulHealth Success Swimming at Middle Park State School
MORNINGSIDE: Hampton Swim School,
Colmslie Aquatics and Health Club
PARKINSON: Rackley Swimming Parkinson
RUNCORN: Rackley Swimming Runcorn Pool
SPRING HILL: Rackley Swimming Spring Hill Baths
Rackley Centenary Pool
SUNNYBANK: Superfish Swim Schools Sunnybank
WESTLAKE: Rackley Swimming Westlake
YERONGA: Yeronga Swimming Complex
ZILLMERE: Electric Eels Swim Club
BURPENGARY: Little Fish Swim School
Swimtikes Family Swim School
CABOOLTURE: Caboolture Pool and Fitness Centre
St Peters Aquatic Centre
CLEVELAND: Cleveland Aquatic Centre
DAKABIN: Wet Swim Schools Dakabin
GREENBANK: Oz Swim Aquatics
HILLCREST: Logan West Aquatic and Fitness Centre
JIMBOOMBA: Jump! Swim Schools Jimboomba
KINGSTON: Gould Adams Park Aquatic Centre
MORAYFIELD: Shapland Swim School Morayfield
MT GRAVATT: Rackley Swimming Hibiscus
Griffith University Swim School
MURRUMBA DOWNS: Murrumba Downs Swimming Pool
NORTH LAKES: North Lakes Aquatic Centre
REDBANK PLAINS: Rackley Swimming Redbank Plains
STRATHPINE: Pine Rivers Community Aquatics Club
UNDERWOOD: Aqualogan Laurie Lawrence Swim School
Joyous Swim School
VICTORIA POINT: YMCA Victoria Point