Listen: Olympian Leisel Jones urges families to get children back into swimming lessons
Summer is almost here, and swim teachers are urging parents to find the goggles and caps, and re-enrol their children in swimming lessons. Due to COVID lockdowns and restrictions, many kids have been out of the pool for a long time.
This SwimSAFER Week, former Olympian and SwimSAFER ambassador Leisel Jones joined Hope Breakfast to urge families to get their kids back into the water.
New research is showing that one in two Australian children are not currently involved in swimming lessons – a figure which Leisel Jones says is very concerning.
“Drowning is such a big part of the deaths of young children in Australia.”
And, unlike many other tragedies, drownings can easily go unnoticed.
“A lot of people don’t realise that when children slip into water, it can be so quiet.
“It’s a silent killer,” Leisel said.
“[That’s why] we really want to make sure that children are getting their swimming lessons in, so if they do slip into the pool, they can get themselves to the side or they can float on their back until help arrives.
“Get back in there and get consistent.
“Swimming is the one sport that will actually save your life,” Leisel said.
Sadly, the financial impact of the pandemic has meant that many families can no longer afford to send their children to swimming lessons. However, the Swim It Forward Initiative is helping to break down that barrier – encouraging people to donate a free swimming lesson to families in need.
“We really want everyone to experience a swimming lesson for their children.
“It’s about being kind and generous to be able to help other parents and allow their children to learn to swim as well,” Leisel said.
To learn more about SwimSAFER Week and the Swim It Forward Initiative – head to swimsafer.org.au