Where can I go to arrange swimming lessons?
by Melinda Roberts
Swimming lessons have now become commonplace all over the country. Gone are the days of learning to swim simply by learning how not to sink in the local outdoor pool over the summer holidays. Swimming lessons are now offered in every type of pool including in ground pools, above ground pools, indoor pools and outdoor pools as well the good old fibreglass pool.
Who Provides Swimming Lessons?
Swimming lessons are offered by many groups and individuals. Commonly, swimming lessons are held in local council owned facilities so start your search there. Private teachers operate out of these pools as well as privately owned swimming pools that may be stand alone facilities or part of a larger sport or fitness complex. Some pools are located at private premises.
AustSwim is Australia's national organisation for the provision of swimming and water safety. It is a requirement in Australia that anyone offering swimming lessons must be certified by AustSwim as a swimming teacher.
Many swimming centres have lessons available from new borns right through to adults. Familiarising your children with water is a good idea in Australia as we are, well, we are surrounded by water! Starting your child nice and early will also give them a good understanding of water safety.
Things to look for when choosing a swimming teacher or facility
- AustSwim Accreditation - make sure the instructor is AustSwim accredited and that their accreditation is current.
- Class Sizes - most swimming classes are done with more than one student. Check to make sure you are happy with the class size.
- Facility - is the facility clean and well maintained. Don't be afraid to ask to see the premises before committing.
- Police Checks - all people working with swimming instructors should be police checked for working with children.
- Cost - ring around and check the costs of different classes. Private classes may be more expensive.
- Water - if you live in southern Australia you need to make sure that the pool, whether in ground or above ground, is heated.
- Schools - some schools may run programs for swimming lessons, check with your child's school. This is especially common in private schools.
If you want your child to be water ready for the summer season, remember that learning to swim takes time, so don't enrol your kids a month before summer expecting them to be ready for the warm weather. Swimming, like all skills, needs practice, so remember that you need to ensure your child gets a chance to practice their new skills safely and regularly.