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Kids keen to make a splash

Friday, 8th November, 2013

Swimming Instructor Julie Barrett with YMCA swimming lesson kids (from left) Grace Lyle (4), Emmy Daniels (5) and Macy Bottrell (5). Swimming Instructor Julie Barrett with YMCA swimming lesson kids (from left) Grace Lyle (4), Emmy Daniels (5) and Macy Bottrell (5).

By Gayle Ball

Pool attendance continues to grow, thanks in part to the popularity of regular swimming lessons. 

Broken Hill Regional Aquatic Centre Manager, Shane Simmons, said more than 400 students were enrolled in the classes which cater for children aged six months and up. 

“That translates to 400 students per week having swimming lessons and actively participating in aquatic education,” Mr Simmons said.

He said it was the aim of the YMCA - which took over management of the pool from City Council in December last year - to provide more regular lessons for kids.

“Our program runs over four 12-week blocks throughout the year and with this parents can be confident their children will progress.”

“Our commitment to Broken Hill is ensuring everyone has access to water education and can feel safe in the water.”

Mr Simmons said water safety was a big focus of YMCA NSW, with 15,000 kids across the State taking part in swimming lessons each week.

“We are the largest provider of aquatic education in NSW.”

“One thing research indicates at the moment is that 50,000 children are leaving primary school each year unable to swim 50 metres. That’s quite an alarming statistic.”

Mr Simmons said the local classes focus on water confidence, stroke correction and being able to stay safe in an emergency situation.

There are maximum class ratios so that each child gets the attention they need. Fifteen students also attend private lessons.

“A lot of those kids were petrified of the water... We’ve seen some really good results in that area of the program.”

Mr Simmons said as well as the weekly classes, the YMCA is taking enrolments for the two-week holiday “Splash” learn to swim program in January.

With summer edging closer, he said all indications were that pool attendance will continue to grow after 11,300 people used the aquatic centre in October.

To find out more about the YMCA swimming lessons, call the aquatic centre on 8080 3510.

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