Former Olympic swimmer Melanie Wright with daughter Madison, 1, ahead of the launch of Learn to Swim Week, a national campaign to teach kids to swim for free. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Former Olympic swimmer Melanie Wright with daughter Madison, 1, ahead of the launch of Learn to Swim Week, a national campaign to teach kids to swim for free. Picture: Nigel Hallett

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 with daughter Madison, 1, ahead of the launch of Learn to Swim Week, a national campaign to teach kids to swim for free. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Former Olympic swimmer Melanie Wright with daughter Madison, 1, ahead of the launch of Learn to Swim Week, a national campaign to teach kids to swim for free. Picture: Nigel Hallett

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

 

SURROUNDING AREAS

BURPENGARY: Little Fish Swim School

Burpengary Aquatics

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



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