• wamwaterbabes

Do we need to raise the bar?

This morning i attended my daughter's swimming carnival, she is in Prep, and was shocked to learn that there wasn't any actual independent swimming at the carnival. Activities consisted of kicking on a mat and kicking with a kick board, (all assisted very closely by helpers), a noodle horse ride and a monkey race. Basically it was a glorified swimming lesson.

Miss A went to the event fully expecting to swim like she does in her lessons and was very excited about the prospect of racing and putting into practice everything that she has been learning. Miss A is 6 and she is a good swimmer she can comfortably swim a basic freestyle over around 10-15 metres. Now you must be thinking "well of course, her mum is a swim instructor and she has a swim school in her backyard, she is probably doing a class every day, she is some kind of swimming superstar for her age" In fact that couldn't be further from the truth.

Miss A does the regular one lesson per week most weeks, sometimes a class, sometimes a private. She has time off in the dead of winter, when she is sick, when we holiday and when life just gets in the road. BUT she did start her pool time at 6 months and has continued ever since. I could also name a number of other children that we teach that are around the same age and same standard.

I'm not writing this to brag or complain about her not being able to "show off" her skills, I am writing this in an attempt to make parents aware that the seemingly acceptable standard of swimming ability at that age is not acceptable. Parent after parent this morning watched their non swimming child, some of whom couldn't put their face in the water or climb out of the pool, or wouldn't let go of the helper partake in these activities alongside all of the other kids, all the time thinking, "oh look at what they can do, they are so clever, they can do everything all the other kids do, they are exactly where they need to be." Swimming lessons are not even considered because they have this illusion that they don't need them, they are too young or not ready.

Don't get me wrong some of those children would attend swimming lessons already and for whatever reason just arn't at the level of some other kids. And to those parents I applaud you and encourage you to persevere because sometimes these things can take time.

Perhaps if the swimming carnival were designed to cater to children of all levels and not based on the presumption that children of that age can not swim, parents might look at what some of the other kids can do and realise that their child may not be swimming at the level they are capable of and take steps to advance them.

It's time to make lessons a priority, an essential part of raising a child, something that can not be sacrificed. It's time to lift the expected standard.


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