You may ask the question, why is it so important to start your child’s aquatic education at a young age?
The State Swim Program is delivered in three stages:
1. Swim'n' Play Program (6 months - 4 years)
2. 400 Gold Program (4 years +)
3. Health and Sport Program (Squad Coaching Program)
Each of the three stages prepares the swimmer for the next stage. Classes are made of logical progressions that continuously challenge and reward swimmers through strengthening the skills already learnt whilst introducing new and more challenging skills.
This month we will focus on the Swim ‘n’ Play Program. This stage is about the joy of swimming. It is a deep water survival skill program aimed at making our youngest children safe in the water. It is a pre cursor to joining the 400 Gold Program where the technical strokes are taught.
While swimming lessons for babies and toddlers will assist in addressing the safety issues there are many more benefits such as:
Respect for the water: The child will not be fearful or panic in the water. The class will show them water is enjoyable and fun. It aims to reduce any anxiety the child may experience in other water based activities such as washing their hair
Develops co-ordination and strength: Using under arm crawl and kicking legs helps develop the child's co-ordination. It also increases their strength and muscular functions.
Builds bonds: Parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles, guardians and friends can participate in the class, facilitating bonding between them and the child.
Acceptance of the water: Babies accept the water more readily than a younger child which will make the transition to the 400 Gold Program easier
Fear of the water: The longer the child is kept away from the water the greater the fear can become.
Refine Strokes: It gives children a head start to learning how to swim. It gives the rudimental swimming skill such as body position and introduces breathing techniques.
Exercise: It’s a healthy activity and improves the cardio vascular system. Water resistance means the child is exercising more through the water.
Build Confidence: It will create a child who is comfortable and confident in an aquatic environment.
Decrease separation anxiety: As children progress through our programs they will be happy and comfortable to swim independently which will decrease separation anxiety when they are in the water with an Instructor and without a parent.
Breath control: Introduces the ability to control their breath when they submerge. Breath control is a crucial skill in learning to swim.
Learning to swim at any age is beneficial but keep in mind at all times no matter the age of your child, adult supervision is vital in ensuring a safe aquatic environment.
I hope you find this information useful.
Renee Moran (Operations Manager State Swim East Fremantle)