Local swim schools offer free swimming lessons during Learn2Swim Week

Swim safe: Kids Alive founder and former Olympic swimming coach Laurie Lawrence supports the week. Picture: Supplied
Swim safe: Kids Alive founder and former Olympic swimming coach Laurie Lawrence supports the week. Picture: Supplied

Three swim schools in St George and Sutherland Shire will offer free swimming lessons to toddlers during Learn2Swim Week.

The national event runs September 25 to October 4 to remind Australians about the importance of teaching children under five years to swim and also offers general water safety information.

Southern Swim School, Kirrawee, St George Swim Academy, Kogarah, and Sans Souci Leisure Centre's Swim Academy will offer a number of free swim classes during the week in partnership with Poolwerx and Kids Alive.

Nineteen children under the age of five drowned in Australia last year alone - 12 in backyard swimming pools.

New research from Poolwerx reveals almost one-quarter of parents surveyed know someone or directly encountered a near-drowning experience, highlighting the importance of teaching young children basic water skills.

Hundreds of swim schools across the country will offer free swimming lessons to children under the age of five as part of the water safety initiative.

Former Olympic swimming coach and Kids Alive founder Laurie Lawrence partnered with Poolwerx to support the initiative.

"Drowning remains the leading cause of preventable death for children under the age of five, so it's important kids know how to handle themselves in the water," Mr Lawrence said.

"During last year's campaign, the Learn2Swim Week website received over 6200 lessons requests, which shows the message of water safety is getting through and parents are understanding how vital it is to learn to swim at an early age."

Poolwerx founder and chief executive John O'Brien encouraged parents to take advantage of the free lessons.

"We know swimming is a favourite pastime for all Australians, but sadly, we also know toddlers are most at risk of drowning, particularly in backyards. This is why it is crucial to introduce kids to water safety when they are little," he said.

"As the world's largest global franchise pool service brand, we have both the opportunity and responsibility to promote safe water practices in our community.

"Australians are building 20,000 pools in their backyard every year, so Learn2Swim Week remains a really important initiative."

"Swimming lessons are also a great way for parents to bond with their little ones and create fun waterside memories."

Details: To find a participating swim school and sign up for a free class click here.