In our previous post, we talked about parents withdrawing their child from swimming lessons in Australia due to budget constrains. Due to no subsidy from the State Government, some parents find themselves having to make a difficult decision. Ultimately, sacrifices such as a lifelong skill have to be made in order for them to even afford funding for their child’s education.
Libby Trickett, the Olympic golden girl, has joined forces with a growing list of Australian swimmers to urge swimming lessons to be made compulsory in schools. She encourages the State Government to subsidise the swimming programs in primary schools, considering that there is a growing number of school-age drownings. The London 2012 comeback queen stated that she was rather surprised that schools have yet to make swimming lessons compulsory. “I think it’s incredibly important to teach children as young as possible how to swim. I, personally, think it should come from the Government. Not every family can afford to send their children to have lessons,” she explained.
If you refer to our previous post, you would realise that Victorian primary school principals are urging the Government to subsidise for their schools’ swimming lessons as a number of cash-strapped parents have already pulled their children out from the rather costly programs. As statistics have shown, the drowning rate of those aged between 5 to 11 years old have increased by nearly 70 per cent from 2006 to 2011 as compared to the first half of the decade.
Libby has joined along side breaststroker Samantha Riley, sprint swimmer Eamon Sullivan, Paralympian Matthew Cowdrey, sisters Cate and Bronte Campbell and fellow London squad members Brenton Rickard and Melanie Schlanger in calling for change. Brenton believes that the onus should rest on the Government. “(It) will save lives,” he said.
Apart from these swimmers, Peter Garrett, the Federal School Education, Early Childhood and Youth Minister has also backed a Surf Life Saving Australia petition in urging all governments to make swimming lessons mandatory. He mentioned that water safety skills were at the heart of a new draft Australian Curriculum for Health and Physical Education this month. However, Lisa Miller, who is his spokeswoman, also indicated that the decision still lies with the schools on who should pay for the lessons. For the full story, do read it over here.
In Singapore, Swimming Lessons For Children have already been made compulsory in primary schools. Compared to them, the lessons here are considered to be affordable already. If you have yet to discover such a skill, do check what Happy Fish Swim School has to offer!