All my life I have been passionate about teaching and educating, and even though the greatest accolades I have received have not been for the thing that I strive for the most I am very happy to have been able help others achieve such great success at the Olympics.
What I am really passionate about is water safety, I have been involved in swimming virtually my whole life, starting when my dad got the lease on the pool at Toobruk.
Since 1988 I have been focused on what I am really passionate about and that is saving little ones lives and I have been doing this through the Kids Alive – Do the Five campaign www.kidsalive.com.au and by visiting the website and on the front page click on the “Early Childhood Program” to download Free eBooks, videos, animations and loads of other resources now being used in every early childhood centre across Australia. This brings the safety message to kids at a level where they can understand and enjoy the journey.
But that is only one part of the solution, we need to teach every child how to swim and I don’t just mean taking them to lessons where they play games, don’t get me wrong games are great and assist in the learning process but they are just not enough. The number one question I get asked is where should I take my child to swim and for years I have told parents to check out a number of swim schools in their area and see what feels right for you. But again that’s just not enough, so with my girls and a team of experts I have developed a new hub where information and education are king at www.worldwideswimschool.com
For parents the most important thing you can do for your child’s safety around water is to educate yourself and not only by the messages that you will find on the Kids Alive website but you need to understand what your child should be doing at the age they are now. All too often I hear parents say, I’ve been taking little Jimmy for lessons all season and I just don’t know if he is learning anything and I am still scared of the levels he is at.
So what I’ve done is create a must see resource for every parent, mums and dads alike, to be shared with grandma and grandad as well. Let’s ensure that everyone that is important in little Jimmy’s life understand where he’s at. From nearly 50 years of experience I have design 11 modules especially for Parents and what I have done is break them in 7 different developmental age groups, so you know and understand what little Jimmy should be doing as well as one for each on the 4 strokes for the more advanced kids. This is the greatest information a parent can arm themselves with before or even during the stages when their children need to learn to swim.
So if little Jimmy is 14 months old, then you need to watch the 12-18 months age group module and this will educate you on exactly what you need to know. This means that you will understand what they are capable of for their age and what skills they should be learning for that age. Trust me you will save hundreds of dollars just because you will know if they are learning the correct information in classes and you will confidently be able to become hands on with this most wonderful pathway your child is endeavouring on.
How do you keep kids interested and engaged in swimming? Share your ideas in the comments below.