the ability to swim is an essential life-skill that could save your life in an aquatic emergency. Many parents think it is essential for their children to learn the basics of swimming just to get themselves to safety or perhaps tread water until help arrives.
It is a sad fact that most drownings occur within 10 metres of safety and to this end the Dolphins put on SURVIVAL awards ranging from "I've just fallen in - can I get out?" in stages up to the Rookie Lifeguard Awards which take the swimmer through a number of tests fully clothed.
But like all skills - school work, riding a horse, trampolining, dancing - swimming well takes some while to accomplish. There are 176 hours in the week so 40 minutes (less than ½% of their time) is not very long to learn all the skills required of a good swimmer.
The Dolphins recommend two sessions a week as being the optimum for good progress - on the grounds that there is less time to forget between lessons and, should one be missed for any reason, there is not a two-week gap between lessons. A few come more than twice a week simply because they enjoy the feeling of moving ever faster and more efficiently through the water.
The good news is that swimming is one of the first skills a young child can achieve and the progressive Swim England awards scheme takes them through many different skills whilst at the same time being fun.
Jim Butterworth, Organiser