But with swimming centres now well and truly open, you’d be surprised to hear that the colder months provide the perfect opportunity to re-learn essential swimming skills, in addition to the many reasons why parents should enrol their children back into vitally important lessons this winter.
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Parents are being encouraged to continue swimmig lessons in winter. Image: iStock
Due to the disruptions that pandemic restrictions have played on swimming lessons these last two years, it’s no surprise that many children have lost their swimming and water safety skills. Having had lesser opportunities to participate in lessons and limited exposure to swimming programs, the heightened risk of drowning as a result of inadequate swimming skills remains of key concern.
With swimming centres opening back up again this past summer, other barriers to entering swimming programs and participating in lessons come from finding lesson availability. This has been difficult due to long waitlists, density caps, and a shortage of swimming instructors from the ongoing effects of the pandemic.
But after potentially missing out on lessons during the summer, the cooler months actually provide the perfect opportunity for parents to take advantage of quieter lesson enrolment periods and help children regain safety skills and confidence in the water that they might have lost during the pandemic.
Get a head start in swimming lessons before the summer rush
With some waitlists as long as two months prior to Christmas, the colder months also allow parents to get a head start for their children on preparing for the busy summer swimming period, when lesson capacities can fill up quickly.
While swimming lessons should be a priority all year round, parents might find a more accessible time to re-enrol or enrol in lessons for the first time during the winter months, where enrolment enquiries may not be as high. In some centres, previous winter enrolments might also mean that you get priority in summer, fast-tracking your child’s enrolment during busier periods.
As families head towards the rivers and beaches during the warmer months, winter lessons will ensure that vital swimming skills remain up to date when easing back into fun water activities during the summertime.
It’s the perfect sport to keep your child warm and fit
We have all heard it before — ‘it’s too cold, it’s too rainy, I don’t want to go outside.’
During winter, the cold and wet weather often makes it difficult to convince children to participate in outdoor sports and unsurprisingly, children will make all sorts of excuses to get out of an activity that will ultimately keep them fit and active.
It’s equally a struggle to come up with indoor activities that don’t involve a screen!
However, as a predominantly indoor sport with heated pools, swimming makes a great activity to get your children active, away from the constant supervision of screens, and most importantly, moving and keeping warm.
Parents can also use the warm showers available at swimming centres to help children change into their PJs after lessons, allowing them to be comfortable as they head on their way home.
The kids will benefit from the consistency of lessons. Image: Supplied
Endorphins from physical activity can help your children feel happy and relaxed
As an intensive physical activity that can help your child remain fit and active over winter, swimming also provides psychological health benefits.
Regular exercise like weekly swimming lessons during winter aid in releasing feel-good endorphins; chemicals that are produced by the body that help to manage stress and increase feelings of happiness.
Though endorphins can help to relieve negative feelings such as intense pain, it also plays a role in stimulating a positive rush and a mood-booster that one might experience when laughing or doing selfless activities, like volunteering.
After swimming lessons, the positive feeling that your children experience from endorphins will help them to relax, and guarantee a fabulous night’s sleep that will see them fully rested and energised for the day ahead.
A sport that can build up social skills and confidence
As a group activity, swimming lessons are an extremely social sport where children can make friends for life.
Alongside the physical and psychological health benefits, swimmers will enjoy being with their peers and instructors and often look forward to seeing their friends on a regular basis. But swimming lessons aren’t only socially beneficial for children! Regular, weekly sessions also help to create social communities for supervising parents too.
As a sport that needs to be developed over time, pursuing swimming lessons for the entire year instead of only summer, will enable children to see their skills increasingly improve, aiding in building self-confidence and self esteem. They’ll be surprised to see how far they have come.
Anne Brown is Area Manager for Kingswim. Kingswim offers swim programs for babies from 12 weeks of age, right through to graduate level swimmers. With 20 centres across Australia, find more information on programs and swimming lesson classes at www.kingswim.com.au.