Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

AUSTSWIM slams forceful swim teaching techniques

AUSTSWIM slams forceful swim teaching techniques
July 30, 2018

Supervised programs promoting safety, respect and enjoyment, not forceful conditioning techniques, are the best methods for teaching water safety to infants and pre-school aged children according to AUSTSWIM, Australia’s leading provider of industry best practice swimming and water safety teaching guidelines.

In a statement released today, AUSTSWIM highlights that its guidelines for teaching focus on providing a planned positive experience for all participants ensuring a relaxed and happy environment, building trust and assisting infants to develop a skill for life that will enhance their health and development in and out of the water.

AUSTSWIM interim Chief Executive Colin Organ advised “a relaxed environment will ensure a child is most receptive to the water safety aquatic skills lessons and build self-confidence in water.”

The statement adds that AUSTSWIM is strongly opposed to forceful conditioning methods, such as forced back float and submersion techniques, which are stressful to a developing child and can lead to a fear of water. Such techniques are in direct contravention to the AUSTSWIM Code of Conduct and Best Practices Standards.

Organ continues “this method is a forceful conditioning technique which puts children under duress. It is a stressful environment which is traumatic for the infant, as well as for the teacher and the parent/carer, and can lead to an ongoing fear of water. It is important the community is aware of the potential risks associated with this method and to avoid these programs.”

AUSTSWIM’s position on this controversial forceful technique, which follows a thorough review, is supported by the aquatics Industry and is consistent with the position of the UK baby swimming industry.

This position is based on the University of Cambridge’s Dr Francoise Freedman’s June 2017 report titled, ‘Sink or Swim’, which concludes it would be unethical to subject babies and toddlers to these methods.

Organ explained “we advocate for safer communities through quality swimming and water safety education and strongly urge parents to avoid programs that use force, do not respect the rights of the child and do not conform with the best practice guidelines.”

Due to the risk of harm to infants, there is no ethical research on these controversial techniques. Academic ethics committees will not support research projects and testing of some teaching techniques which may cause harm to infants.

AUSTSWIM educates teachers to the highest international standards, by teaching people to respect water and provide a positive, fun and memorable experience.

Organ added “there is no substitute for supervision of infants around water. Providing a positive experience for everyone involved, the child and parent/carer, is the first step. What we must ensure is the quality teaching of evidence driven learning methods to enable children to enjoy the health and recreation benefits of gaining a skill for life.”

In maintaining the highest industry standards, AUSTSWIM has confirmed that teachers and recognised swim centres must abide by the AUSTSWIM code of conduct to maintain their accreditation and recognition.

Organ concluded “those who choose to teach outside our code of conduct, including the forced back float and submersion method, will be required to cease using these methods and follow the AUSTSWIM guidelines or face the potential suspension of their AUSTSWIM accreditation.”

AUSTSWIM accredited teachers and recognised swim centres are being advised of this position and will be encouraged to review their practices where appropriate and have the opportunity to ensure they commit to AUSTSWIM’s best practice guidelines in line with community expectations.

The final position paper on these forceful conditioning techniques will be released in August and an education and communication program on the endorsed teaching methods will be conducted through until the end of January 2019.

Image courtesy of AUSTSWIM partner H20graphy.

Related Articles

11th July 2018 - AUSTSWIM announces new Chief Executive

23rd June 2018 - AUSTSWIM awards excellence in aquatic education in NSW

18th September 2017 - Stacey Aldous named national AUSTSWIM WETS Aqua Instructor of the Year

22nd August 2017 - AUSTSWIM conference to present top examples of aquatic fitness

27th June 2017 - Austswim flags importance of education in aquatic exercise program delivery

24th April 2017 - AUSTSWIM to present ‘Soak It Up’ Conference series

5th July 2016 - AUSTSWIM and YMCA NSW join forces on water safety

30th October 2015 - AUSTSWIM backs Save Our Kids swimming lessons call

24th July 2015 - Belgravia Leisure and AUSTSWIM partner to boost water safety skills

2nd April 2013 - AUSTSWIM support women’s only swimming and water safety


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

Goplay Commercial Playground Equipment

Goplay designs and manufactures specialised playground equipment for indoor play centres, hotels, food chains, clubs and resorts. If our years of experience and dedication have taught us one thing,…

read more

Play

 
 

SICO SOUTH PACIFIC

SICO is at the forefront in innovative mobile folding and rolling, space efficient tables, stages, dance floors and many other products which help our customers optimise their use of space. Image…

read more

Entertainment / Events / Venues

 
 

ELITE POOL COVERS

Since 1989 Elite Pool Covers have designed and manufactured an extensive range of high quality affordable manual,semi-automatic and fully-automatic pool cover systems for the harsh Australian…

read more

Aquatics / Environment / Technology / Venues

 
 

WATERPLAY Solutions Corp

Whether your goal is increasing your centre's revenues or creating an engaging environment, why not add play to your project? If you're looking for stylish aquatic play features, kid-tested…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Recreation / Waterparks

 
 

Humanforce

Humanforce is a global provider of workforce management solutions for companies who need flexibility to manage complex workforces. Companies use Humanforce to manage everything from time and…

read more

Hospitality / Retail / Technology / Venues

 
 

Vticket

Vticket Pty Ltd is the Australian and New Zealand distributor for Gateway Ticketing Systems Inc., the world leader in high-speed access control, admission control and ticketing software for the…

read more

Attractions / Security / Technology / Ticketing / Venues

 
 

Supreme Heating

Supreme Heating is a proud Australian owned company specialising in the latest energy efficient heating solutions. Since 1990, Supreme Heating has designed and installed commercial pool heating…

read more

Aquatics / Environment / Recreation

 
 

CERAMIC SOLUTIONS

Established in 1994, Ceramic Solutions has excelled at the supply and installation of swimming pool tiles and equipment for the pool and leisure industry, with a focus on the needs of end-users. …

read more

Aquatics / Design / Surfaces / 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