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KIDS TO MAKE A SPLASH WITH FREE SWIM LESSONS

YOUR kids can be water safe like Maizey and Angus this Summer, with Mornington’s Oceana Aquatic and Fitness offering a week of free swimming lessons to young children as part of a national water safety initiative.

Tragically, 12 young children lost their lives from drowning in Australia last year, with half of these incidents happening in swimming pools.

In an effort to prevent further tragic drownings and remind Australians about the importance of teaching young children how to swim, pool maintenance and supplies business Poolwerx and Kids Alive are teaming up to present the eighth annual Learn2Swim Week (25 September – 3 October), offering free swimming lessons for kids aged under five.

Oceana Aquatic and Fitness runs learn-to-swim classes seven days a week, and currently has more than 1300 kids enrolled. Oceana swim school manager Katie Hook expects a lot of interest in the free classes, which will teach basic water skills and make swimming safe and fun for toddlers and their parents.

“We live on an island, so there’s water everywhere,” she said.

“It’s so important that children at least learn how to float at a very early age, so if they do fall into the water they don’t panic.”

Poolwerx Hobart franchise partners David Doig and Greta Ann McDonald are encouraging local parents to take advantage of the free classes.

“Swimming is a way of life for most Australians, but sadly we’re still seeing backyard drownings,” they said. “That is why it is crucial to introduce kids to water safety as early as possible.”

More than 30 per cent of parents whose children participated in Learn2Swim Week last year went on to enrol their children in ongoing swim classes.

“Drowning remains the leading cause of preventable death for children under the age of five, so it’s important kids know how to handle themselves in the water,” Kids Alive founder and former Olympic swim coach Laurie Lawrence said.

“Right now, with Australians set to be holidaying at home for the time being, there’s never been a better time to get all kids enrolled in swimming lessons.”

To sign up for a free class or register your own swim school for the program, go to www.learn2swimwek.com