Interesting news today from the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) warning, according to the BBC, that more children may drown if they are don’t have the recommended annual number of hours of swimming lessons at school. This is the sort of news that Breakfast TV like to report on, showing children – who must have got up at an unearthly hour to have their moment on TV – practising swimming, jumping in and diving. In the report they did make the very valid point that it surely isn’t just down to schools to teach children to swim – their parents also have a responsibility.
As a keen swimmer myself, almost as happy in water as on land (and definitely more so than on a ski slope!) I’m all for encouraging swimming, one of the few sports that can last you all your life and the only one that helps to save lives. This summer we have come up with a small range of items that are designed to help children swim and gain confidence in the water.
I’d especially recommend the Swim Jacket, a buoyancy aid that really helps children to swim because the buoyancy element can be gradually reduced as the child becomes more confident. A good idea to have one for boating or playing on the beach in any case – assuming we do get a summer this year!
When I was a boy I used to spend hours diving to the bottom of the pool picking things up. We practised for life-saving with heavy rubber bricks I remember, but I would have loved the brightly coloured dive sticks we now sell, and the games you could play picking them up in order, or from different ends of the pool, all with one breath. I guess I could still manage to pick up a few although the breathing’s not what it was – although to be fair I am now eligible for a bus pass.
One Easter holiday when I was about 12 I spent several hours every single day at Cheam Baths, mainly underwater, and I vividly remember my eyes streaming for the rest of the day because of the chlorine, but people just didn’t wear goggles then. Now I wouldn’t be without them and nor need your child be and I highly recommend the goggles we sell. Inexpensive but good quality and just the ticket for preventing pink eyes, and in two different colours.
So no excuses – get your child down to the local pool and make sure they are able to swim the required 25 metre length by the time they’re 11 – yes apparently it’s statutory now!