Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Aquatic centre study shows school swimming programs not enough to keep children safe

Aquatic centre study shows school swimming programs not enough to keep children safe
October 9, 2019

The majority of children who only learn to swim by attending intensive school swimming programs can't swim a year later according to new research from Deakin University

The world-first study into the learning and retention of swim and safety skills by Mornington Peninsula-based aquatic facilities operator Peninsula Leisure and Deakin University found that undertaking an intensive school swim program alone is not enough to keep Australian children safe, placing them at greater risk of drowning,

The year-long study, Swim Lesson Models: Effectiveness and Impact Study, found parents who solely relied on school swim programs overestimated their child’s swimming and water safety abilities.

Kate Moncrieff and Jacqui Peters, lecturers within Deakin University's School of Education, found children need weekly swimming instruction in addition to the five 45-minute sessions offered in most intensive school swimming programs, to maintain their swimming and water safety skills.

Primary school aged children who had established foundational swimming skills - such as gliding, kicking front and back and corresponding arm actions - and then only attended school intensive swimming programs without an additional weekly swimming program for the remainder of the year, tended to plateau or even lose the skills they had gained.

The best outcomes came from those who did a combination of weekly and intensive swimming lessons.

It also found that, while swimming is a crucial skill to learn in Australian culture, 36.7% of parents whose children participated in the study only intended to persist with lessons if their child expressed interest to continue.

Advising that the study reinforces just how important it is for parents to ensure children are learning to swim all year round, Peninsula Leisure Chief Executive Tim Gledhill stated “while intensive school swim programs are important, they lose their effectiveness as a stand-alone, and the study found children needed to attend more frequent swimming lessons to be able to retain essential swim and safety skills.

“85% of Australians live within 50 kilometres of the coast (so) this study is a timely reminder on the importance of learning to swim and maintaining regular practice to ensure our children remain safe. It also highlights the need to redesign the way we deliver learn-to-swim programs.”

The study found a combination of intensive school swim programs, in conjunction with regular lessons to be the most effective mode for swim skill retention. However, it also found the retention of skills learned in intensive school programs was level-dependent.

The findings have prompted the Deakin researchers to call for a review of school swimming programs to include the viability of expanding swimming programs beyond the current once yearly intensive school programs. This was shown to be extremely important for beginner and early skill stage swimmers.

Moncrieff advised “while intensive school swimming programs were important and effective, they lost their effectiveness as a stand-alone, and children needed to attend more frequent swimming lessons and practice in order to be able to swim to safe levels.

"We found that regular weekly swimming provided positive skill learning outcomes across all levels.

"In contrast to the school swimming intensives, the greatest impact of weekly swimming was experienced by early learners.

“Extending the accessibility to swimming lessons beyond intensive school swim programs is important to ensure all children, no matter what level, are retaining these vital skills.

“The findings have prompted us to call for a review of the State’s school swim programs to ensure they meet the development needs of Victorian children.”

Images courtesy of Peninsula Leisure.

Related Articles

4th October 2019 - Research highlights the benefits of resistance training for seniors’ fitness

6th May 2019 - ARV Bendigo conference to bring regional aquatic industry together

3rd April 2019 - 59 councils back 2019 VICSWIM Summer Kidz program

17th January 2019 - Research shows HIIT training as more than another fitness fad

30th November 2018 - ASSA launches Australia’s most inclusive swimming lesson

1st September 2018 - Queensland primary school students to get free swimming lessons

11th July 2018 - Fitness Award changes to benefit swimming instructors

24th March 2018 - Majority of children end swimming lessons classes before they’re safe in water

14th March 2018 - New research could prove key to preventing drowning deaths among Victorian children

7th March 2018 - SWIMS 4 ALL initiative looks to get more Australians swimming

7th November 2017 - Deakin University again ranked world’s best for sports science

15th September 2017 - Australian Leisure Facilities Association echoes concerns raised in 2017 National Drowning Report

7th February 2017 - PARC revamps swim program to improve children’s water skills

19th December 2016 - Victorian study aims to find the best way to teach children to swim

2nd December 2016 - Victorian schools to be required to make sure all primary school students can swim

17th April 2014 - Parents warned that child water safety is not just a summer concern

4th November 2013 - Parents value swimming and water safety lessons above other out-of-school activities


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

TRISLEYS HYDRAULIC SERVICES

Trisley's Hydraulic Services P/L (THS) are a specialised pool company dealing with all aspects of the commercial swimming pool industry, including the installation and servicing from the smallest…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Play / Waterparks

 
 

CENTAMAN

Centaman has been a market leader in Enterprise Software Solutions for the leisure and recreation industry and both profit and not-for-profit attractions since 1991. It offers a wide range of software…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology / Ticketing

 
 

AIS Water

AIS Water, the trading name of Australian Innovative Systems, is a multi-award winning, Australian owned leader in the design, production and supply of commercial and residential chlorine generators…

read more

Aquatics / Safety / Technology

 
 

Fitness On Demand

Fitness On Demand™ is a market-leading developer of virtual group fitness products. Our innovative video delivery systems offer robust content and a simple-to-use, comprehensive web app. Fitness…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness

 
 

SKC Operations Pty Ltd (SKCorp)

SKC Operations Pty Ltd (SKCorp) is an expert retail and marketing services team specialising in sports, leisure, aquatics, fitness, health, wellness & recreation industry. Using proven…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Fitness / Marketing / Retail

 
 

LES MILLS ASIA PACIFIC

Les Mills Asia Pacific Les Mills Asia Pacific (LMAP) have been setting the benchmark for providing professional fitness solutions across Australia and South East Asia since 1996. Our world renowned…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness

 
 

MYRTHA POOLS

Founded in 1961, Myrtha Pools® quickly became Italy’s première swimming pool company, and has since grown into one of the world's leading swimming pool construction…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Play / Waterparks / Wellness

 
 

Worldwide Sports Management

Principal Consultant Simon Weatherill has spent the last 20 years developing the world renowned Melbourne Sports Hub, as former Chief Executive Officer of the State Sports Centres Trust…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business