Many families across Australia are currently feeling the pinch thanks to the rising cost of living, and quite often it’s the kids’ extracurricular activities that get put on hold or cancelled first when families are looking for ways to cut spending.
However, at Belgravia Leisure, we are passionate about ensuring water safety is considered an essential activity for kids. Swimming lessons play a vital role in familiarising the swimmer with the water, and for children especially, is crucial in keeping them safe.
“We need to change our outlook on swimming and water safety lessons from being an optional activity to one that is an essential life skill,” says Belgravia Aquatic Services Manager, Sarah Podesta.
It’s especially important to keep up swimming lessons over winter so kids are not losing their skills and that we don’t get complacent around the water. Last year, there were 339 deaths across the country due to drowning, according to Royal Life Saving Australia. A further 686 people experienced a non-fatal drowning incident.
Having strong swimming skills is one way to reduce the risks of drowning.
“We are hearing more and more from parents who are taking their kids out of lessons for financial reasons, and whilst we understand that this is necessary for some, we are urging parents, wherever possible, to make the right choice and keep their little ones in swimming and water safety lessons – you never know, it could one day save their life”.
When children drop their lessons, they need to play catch-up later in the year; another factor to consider.
“They will therefore be less likely to achieve the National Benchmarks in Swimming and Water Safety,” says Sarah. “Keeping up those lessons will mean they will be more confident to enjoy all of Australia’s waterways this summer and have the best chance of being safe all year round”.
To find your closest Belgravia Leisure aquatic facility, search here.