FREE LESSONS: Learn to Swim Week ambassador and former Olympic swimming coach Laurie Lawrence supports free swimming lessons for kids.
FREE LESSONS: Learn to Swim Week ambassador and former Olympic swimming coach Laurie Lawrence supports free swimming lessons for kids. Contributed

Free swim lessons for under five years

A LOCAL Maryborough school has thrown its support behind an initiative to prevent childhood drownings by offering free swimming lessons for kids under five during national Learn to Swim Week.

Poolwerx owner Greg McGarry said Maryborough Aquatic Centre urged parents to visit the Learn to Swim Week website at learntoswimweek.com.au and sign their under-fives up to learn vital water safety skills, free of charge.

"Drowning is still the leading cause of preventable deaths in children under five in Australia,” Greg said.

"We hope that by having schools like Maryborough Aquatic Centre supporting this cause we can get more kids in the water learning lifesaving skills.”

Ambassador of Learn to Swim Week and former Olympic swim coach Laurie Lawrence said parents reported that one of the biggest obstacles to regular swimming lessons was the perceived expense.

"For Learn to Swim Week we've partnered up with hundreds of swim schools around the country, to offer free lessons for the kids,” Laurie said.

"The life of our kids is too important to be jeopardised by constraints on the family budget, so we're performing this vital service free of charge.”

A recent study conducted by Poolwerx, the company that initiated Learn to Swim Week, found that 81% of parents with young children think swimming lessons are compulsory in Australian schools.

"This simply isn't the case,” Mr McGarry said.

"Swimming lessons aren't compulsory in any primary school, state or private. It's up to the parent to ensure their child learns water safety and how to swim.

"This is one of the many reasons why we started Learn to Swim Week.

"And we're thrilled that swim schools like Maryborough Aquatic Centre are right behind us in this quest. I take my hat off to them.”



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