There are many reasons why adults cannot swim. But the two most common are the fear of drowning or the lack of opportunity to learn. Fear is generally the result of a negative water experience as a child. The lack of opportunity is often representative of older generations some overseas cultures and those who live in remote areas.
It is never too late to learn. Like children, adults who are learning to swim require small learning groups and a caring teacher who provides a calm and non-threatening environment. A learner adult appreciates the skills to be broken in small parts for easy adaptation.
To overcome one's fear or to learn a new skill, particularly if it has been a lifetime dream, gives one the feeling of great accomplishment. Learning to swim not only opens the doors to a great many water sports and activities, but also, as parents, grandparents and carers, it is essential that we can swim to better protect children from the dangers of the water.
"It is essential that we can swim to better protect children from the dangers of the water."
Sue Ward has been teaching kids to swim for almost 2O years. Contact her at
To overcome one's fear or to learn a new skill, particularly if it has been a lifetime dream, gives one the feeling of great accomplishment.
Ensure young swimmers regularly practice swimming to the poolside.
"The level of strength and skill of the child will determine what options are available to them."
WHEN children learn to swim, they usually do so at a Swim Centre.
They are taught survival skills, for example, to swim to the poolside, grab the edge with both hands and where possible, pull themselves out of the pool.
Other scenarios are to roll over and float on their backs until help arrives.
The level of strength and skill of the child will determine what options are available to them.
However, we cannot assume that if a child can swim to the edge of the Swim Centre pool, they can also grasp the edgoe for the home pool or another pool. We need to practice the skill that the child has learnt at the Swim Centre in a variety of situations.
Ensure the child is aware of the new surroundings and practice swimming to the poolside of steps without goggles and caps and sometimes wearing clothes. Although water environments are different, for example, to exit at the beach is different to exiting a creek or backyard pool.
Children need to be taught what we, as adults take for granted.
Sue Ward has been teaching kids to swim for almost 2O years. Contact her at 3300 0444.
SOCIALISING where there is a backyard pool is synonymous with the Australian summer.
Sausages on the Barbie, drinks in hand, cathcin up with old mates. It is an all too familiar sight. But who is watching the children?
Drowning is silent and can take place in minutes. The backyard party is full of distractions. Children are unaware of the dangers of the water and there is is a risk of drowning when a child is a not supervised.
Active supervision is not the occasional glance during a conversation or while preparing food, older children watching younger ones or the reliance of “floaties”. It is uninterrupted eye contact within an arm’s reach of the child.
The same applies at public pools.
It is also necessary to ensure that the pool fence and gate are in good working order, gates are locked and the keys stored out of children’s reach (not in the lock) and loose items are removed to prevent children elevating themselves to either open the gate or climb the fence. Remove all attractive objects from the pool and its surrounds.
Watch with your eyes not with your ears!
Remember to always actively monitor the kids while they are swimming.
"Drowning is silent and can take place in minutes. The backyard party is full of distractions. Children are unaware of the dangers of the water and there is is a risk of drowning when a child is a not supervised."
Sue has been teaching kids to swim for almost 2O years and holds degrees in Human Movement Studies and Teaching Physical Education and Primary Classroom. Contact her at (07) 3300 0444.
when a tentative child refuses (for some time) to submerge their eyes, goggles can be useful to encourage these children to “have a go”.
| |By Sue WardOwner of GetSet&Go (Australia) KindyNews Swim Coach
When learning to swim, I am often asked the question: goggles or no goggles?
For safety reasons, it is necessary that children can open their eyes underwater without the aid of goggles because in the event that a child accidentally falls into a pool, it is likely that they will not be wearing their caps, goggles and togs. However, when a tentative child refuses (for some time) to submerge their eyes, goggles can be useful to encourage these children to “have a go”. There is evidence that children can become goggle “dependent” and therefore panic when asked to swim without goggles. However this can be easily overcome by ensuring there is a balanced approach and the child practices all skills with and without goggles until they no longer need them. It is equally as important for children to practice without caps and to wear clothes in the water to imitate falling in and swimming back to the side without panic.
Initially, movement through the water is about survival and the closer the lessons can emulate this, the better.
For your interest, this time last year, schools in the United Kingdom were reported to have a no-goggles policy. The reason was not for water safety but because of the risk of collision due to lowered peripheral vision and the potential injury caused by snapping straps…what will they think of next?
WE all know how important it is to teach our KindyTots to swim as early as possible in order for them to be safe in the pool and indeed, anywhere around water.
So we are extremely proud to have Sue Ward on board as our go-to swimming adviser and expert on all things swimming!
Sue has been teaching kids to swim for almost 2O years and holds degrees in Human Movement Studies and Teaching Physical Education and Primary Classroom. She is also the driving force behind Get Set & Go! (Australia) Swim School
in The Gap, Brisbane.
Sue specialises in teaching swimming and sports skills in a co-operative, non-threatening environment.
"I founded the swim school after I observed that many children did not get involved in sport or recreation due to an earlier negative experience" she said.
Her goal is to provide swimming experiences which are positive, and promote participation for all children in a non-threatening and co-operative environment.
Sue recognises the effectiveness of small learning groups and positive and enjoyable experiences when teaching children. Her swim school at The Gap offers learn to swim classes for children and adults from the age of six months. Sue has a wealth of expertise to share with KindyNews Mums&Dads and will be writing regular articles with valuable tips and advice. If you have a question for Sue, don't hesitate to contact her via email
or just call her up!