Swim schools urged to support child safety initiative


By Alice Richard
Wednesday, 26 July, 2017

Learn2swim week laurie lawrence

Learn-to-swim schools are being encouraged to support Learn2Swim Week, an initiative that aims to boost the number of children learning to swim. Running from 23 September to 2 October 2017, Learn2Swim Week offers free swimming lessons for children under five at partnered swim schools around the country.

Laurie Lawrence, a major advocate of the initiative, says parents often cite cost as a reason for not enrolling their children in learn-to-swim classes.

“This is a tragedy; that something like cost prevents children getting lessons that could one day save their life,” said Lawrence.

“We know the ability to swim is one of the most important factors in reducing the risk of childhood drowning, so we need to introduce more kids to swimming lessons as early as possible.”

Swim schools are being urged to support Learn2Swim Week by registering their school on the Learn2Swim Week website and offering free swimming lessons for children under five. Now in its fourth year, the initiative has a new goal for 2017: to sign up 500 swim schools.

“Since we started in 2013 we have doubled the amount of swim schools participating in the safety initiative each year, and we are hoping 2017 will be no different. There are over 900 swim schools in this country and we would like every one of them supporting the cause. The more swim schools that partner with us, the closer we get to our ultimate goal of zero drownings in under-fives,” said Poolwerx CEO and founder John O’Brien. Poolwerx initiated and grew the campaign nationally.

“Marketing, advertising and public relations support is provided to schools to help them make the most of this program. We realise the effort and sacrifice it takes to participate, so we aim to make it as easy as possible for the swim schools.

Learn2Swim Week is supported by AUSTSWIM, ASSA (the Australian Swim Schools Association) and SWIM Australia. For more information, and to register a swim school, visit www.learn2swimweek.com.

Image caption: Laurie and Emma Lawrence in the water with two learn-to-swim students.

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