Aussies are world renown swimmers. Since the birth of the modern Olympics in 1896, swimmers from Australia have stood as champions on the dais to receive their medals. Swimming greats from Down Under have inspired Australian kids from across the country to push themselves in the pools, waves and on the diving boards of the country. Shelly Taylor-Smith held open water, ultra-marathon records around the world for almost 2 decades, Dawn Fraser inspired the building of hundreds of 50m Olympic pools in country towns prior to the 1956 Olympics. The 70s produced Tracey Wickham, Shane Gould and dozens of others. Swimming has continued to be the largest medalling sport at each Olympic games. Kieran Perkins, Lisa and Grant Kenny, and of course names like The Konrad Kids (John and Ilsa) Rose, Klim, Thorpe, Popov, nicknames like Madame Butterfly (Suzie Maroney) have become part of everyday language. Water sports challenge fear. In a strange twist, the automatic (Flight / Fight) response when water strikes your face is to close your eyes and lift your face clear of the water. Water-based activities require us to overcome this fear. Swimming teachers spend as many lessons as necessary to change the fear response into one of trust. Some students struggle with this concept for several years. Overcoming the fear of water crosses into many other areas of life with a huge boost in self-confidence. Whether or not you are a competitive swimmer, the challenges provided in lessons, clubs or beachside with Nippers, swimming is a sport where the true competition is not the others in the event. The real competition is against your own personal best, physical development or lifelong friends made along the way.
How It Will Benefit Your Child
Being coached in swimming teaches children practical science. The physics and fluid mechanics are learned because it improves children’s swimming ability. Human biology, anatomy and physiology are applied as swimmers grow, develop and learn different strokes. Physically, swimming improves lung power by teaching breathing control when in water and also improves muscle strength by practising different styles of strokes. It is one of the few physical activities (dance, yoga, shooting are others) which are affected by when, where and how you breathe. You have to wait until your head is clear of the water! It is an excellent way to develop cardiovascular fitness, lung capacity and oxygen uptake. It involves all major muscle groups making it an excellent activity that is part of kids overall movement programs.
A forgotten side effect is safety. Children in Australia regardless of whether they live in coastal regions (oceans, pools, lakes) or inland (rivers, dams and lakes) will be involved in aquatic activities. Hot summers, floods and lazy beach days see thousands of people in and around water. Nippers and Surf Lifesaving, swimming lessons and Royal Life Saving Society water safety programs save thousands of children from drowning. Knowing what to look for, where to swim and simply being able to swim is a key factor in keeping your child safe for a fit, happy and healthy life.
Ryan Williamson is a gymnastics and movement expert. His personal experience of slipping through education's cracks gives him an unmatched passion to ensure his 3 young children learn in using methods that suit them. He has developed gymnastics based programs to improve academic test scores, numeracy, literacy and creative thinking. Read Ryan's story - above *My Story*