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Western Australian children return to swimming lessons

Western Australian children return to swimming lessons
June 9, 2020

With Western Australia having moved to Stage Three easing of its COVID-19 restrictions, Royal Life Saving WA has announced that with swimming lessons able to restart, parents and carers should be re-enrolling their children at aquatic centres and swim schools re-open from this week.

With the three-month shutdown of Western Australia’s aquatic industry estimated to have cost $76 million in lost revenue and left many of the 4,150 strong workforce out of employment, Royal Life Saving WA Senior Manager Swimming and Water Safety Education, Trent Hotchkin, says, now that the Western Australian Government has deemed it safe to do so, getting children back in the pool as soon as possible is extremely important.

Hotchkin explained “learning to Swim and Survive is a vital life skill that all Western Australian children need to safely participate on, in and around water. Building swimming and water safety skills in young children is vital work and the single most important investment we can make as a community to prevent drowning.”

Concerned at the misconception in the community that drowning deaths only occur in summer, Royal Life Saving highlights that across Australia around one third of drowning deaths happen in autumn and winter.

Royal Life Saving is particularly concerned about the drowning risk over the upcoming school holidays, as a result of children having not been able to take part in their regular swimming lessons and with many families likely to take the opportunity to holiday around Western Australia with eased travel restrictions.

Lee Duffy, Swim School Coordinator from Wanneroo Aquamotion, says they will be re-starting their swimming lessons program next Monday 15th June, to give children and infants an opportunity to rebuild their swimming skills as soon as possible.

Duffy advised “we're looking forward to giving our customers a return to routine, including physical activity.

“Even coming into winter, the longer we hold off, the more their swimming skills are likely to regress, even if their confidence hasn't.

“Although we've taken a break, the aquatic dangers haven't done the same, so we're keen to get our swimmers back on track as soon as possible.

“Our instructors also can't wait to get back in the pool - we've all missed it.”

Royal Life Saving WA has a network of 140 Endorsed Swim Schools right across the state and has encouraged each of them to re-open as soon as possible so that children can continue their aquatic education.

Hotchkin added “getting children back into swimming lessons is a great way to not only ensure they can build vital swimming and water safety skills, but is also an opportunity for parents and carers to show their support for local swim school operators who’ve been doing it tough throughout the COVID-19 closure.”

For more information go www.royallifesavingwa.com.au/swimschools.

Images: Swimming lesson (top, courtesy of the City of Stirling) and at Wanneroo Aquamotion (below, courtesy of Autism Swim).

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