The Mayor of Manila, Philippines, Alfredo S. Lim recently launched the ‘Free Learn to Swim’ program for both Manila’s children and out-of-school youths at the Army and Navy Club on Roxas Boulevard. He mentioned that these children will be able to learn to swim for their individual well-being and health. They will also be equipped for survival during calamities and emergency situations which requires swimming skills.

Although these free swimming lessons aren’t offered to everyone, the mayor still encourages all Manilans to take full advantage of the facilities available at the city’s sports complexes. This includes facilities like the swimming pools where the public are allowed to swim for free and more importantly, safely. The mayor also announced that an Olympic-size swimming pool will be also open to the public this summer. The location will be in the city’s Manila Boys’ Town Complex in Parang, Marikina.

So far, we have mentioned quite a number of Western countries offering free swimming lessons to their citizens (both adults and children). Philippines is probably one of the first few Asian countries offering free swimming lessons for their children. This goes to show that they are also starting to view swimming as an essential skill for their youths. This is something that many countries still tend to overlook as they have not been fully educated on the importance of possessing swimming and survival skills. Hence, they usually will take it more lightly, some countries do not even emphasize the need to pick up the skill.

In that case, what is it about swimming that is actually so useful? Firstly, we need to establish that drowning occurs everywhere in every single country. Furthermore, it can happen to anyone, young or old, at anytime. By possessing swimming skills, you could potentially save yourself or the life of another from such tragedy. Secondly, by learning to swim, you are actually moving forward to leading a healthier lifestyle. Swimming works out the entire body and by swimming even just once a week, you’ll be able to stay fit. Thirdly, let’s just look at the number of water activities out there for you to participate in. By picking up the skill, you’ll be able to feel more comfortable in the water and also pick up new activities that you might not have been able to without learning swimming.

In Singapore, the government views swimming as an essential skill. Hence, they have enforce it to be compulsory for every child to learn it in Primary school. At Happy Fish Swim School, we agree just as much. Let’s not forget that it’s always better to provide your child with a head start. Therefore, we have specially designed a program to cater for Young Toddlers aged 2 to 4. If your child falls into this category, why not check it out and give them a try? They could very well start to experience the joy of swimming way before their peers!