At just one-year-old, Kate Wood can barely walk yet. However, the toddler from Gold Coast, Australia managed to swim 150 metres continuously. In all, it took her an approximate twenty minutes to complete six lap swim in the 25m pool.
“Kate almost swims better than she walks, it’s amazing to watch how quickly the little ones adapt to water,” stated Libby, her mother. According to her swimming instructors, Terry Gulliver and Lara Bax, this accomplishment by Kate is evidence that young children have the ability to develop strong swimming skills far earlier than what most parents normally envision.
“Whether a young child can swim 150m, or 30m, it doesn’t matter, as long as they can swim – it could save their life one day,” said Terry. For Libby, it was not too surprising to realise that her daughter has such an ability. In fact, she is hoping that Kate continues to improve and reach the 250m mark within the next couple of months. “It wasn’t a big deal to me as my son, James who is now five, did the same at the same age. I know it is unusual for someone so young and I am always proud of my children, but I suppose I knew they could both do it,” she explained.
According to Libby, she was aware of the importance of swimming. That was the reason why she decided to make it a must for both of her children to pick up the life skill. “We live on a property with many dams and a pool, for me the kids learning how to swim was for survival first and foremost. I wanted to know if anything ever happened they would be OK. The added bonus is both absolutely love the water and have excelled with swimming – they love it so much both will be joining Nippers,” she said.
Terry mentioned that a majority of children under the age of two are capable of achieving the same result with proper training and guidance. “A lot of parents wrap their kids in cotton wool and don’t let them extend themselves to see what they can do. The swim completed by Kate and her brother show young children can swim — and well. I think the swim teach industry needs to evolve, to start pushing younger kids to achieve more, because they can do it,” he added.