Kids get into swim of things

By Alisa Yong alisa.yong@age.co.nz -
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Charli with dad Matt Johnson, left, and Jacob with dad Garry Dillon practise moving in water with Swim Magic co-ordinator Hollee Wilton. PHOTO/ALISA YONG
Charli with dad Matt Johnson, left, and Jacob with dad Garry Dillon practise moving in water with Swim Magic co-ordinator Hollee Wilton. PHOTO/ALISA YONG

Wairarapa's youngest swimmers are diving into lessons at the Genesis Energy Recreation Centre in Masterton.

With children returning to school last week, swimming and water awareness classes are again kicking off at the CLM Swim Magic Swim School.

Swim Magic co-ordinator Hollee Wilton said the school was teaching about 1000 children how to be safe in the water through private and school lessons every week.

"It's being aware of the water and the safety aspect of it -- so teaching the kids not to fear it and being comfortable in the water but also teaching them to be safe -- and giving the parents the confidence about how they should be in the water and making it a positive experience for them.

The centre offers lessons six days a week for children as young as 5 months old, as well as to school groups.

The babies, tots and toddlers programme focuses on water awareness and the children are introduced to the idea of finding the bar at the edge of the pool, as well as being taught how to rotate from their front to their backs in the water.

Mum Kelly Dillon, at the pool with husband Garry and son Jacob, said Jacob loved being in the water.

"We are both big water people and New Zealand is surrounded by lakes and rivers and it's the one thing that we as kids had the experience of, so we wanted the same experience for him," Mrs Dillon said.

The morning lessons also provided a good opportunity for Jacob's dad, Garry, to spend some quality time with him, she said.

A recent Colmar Brunton survey showed 45 per cent of under 3-year-olds in New Zealand are attending water confidence lessons.

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