Swimming for joy

Swimming lessons have started again. Pic of sisters Kaida (11) and Allira (9). Photo by Damjan Janevski. 220760_01

Tara Murray

Kids were jumping back in the water last week as swimming lessons resumed as restrictions eased in Victoria.

JUMP! Swim School, which operates at Bundoora, Craigieburn and South Morang, had been closed since late March, leaving children dry on the sidelines.

JUMP! chief executive Mark Collins said swimming lessons were a much needed service. JUMP! runS classes for children from three months old.

Mr Collins said they were expecting to be busy in the coming months, with centres in other states already up 26 per cent compared to the same time last year.

“Swimming is not an activity most kids can practice at home – it requires a suitable pool and the qualified swim teachers that come with it,” Mr Collins said.

“This means local children have had no exposure to swimming skills since March. Taking time off from learning to swim often results in loss of confidence and skill – and usually we see the effects if children have more than three weeks or so off.

“Considering most children have had more than six months off already, the loss in confidence and basic, life-saving skills is very likely and immensely concerning.”

Mr Collins said with the warmer weather and Christmas school holidays approaching, water safety is even more important.

He said there were a few things parents could do to ensure their children’s safety.

He said parents had to be on heightened alert around water, even more diligent than usual, ideally in the water with their kids, talking to their children actively about water and water safety, only swim in areas that are manned by lifeguards and getting kids back into swimming lessons.

More information: www.jumpswimschools.com.au.