Worrying new figures from a national survey have revealed 51 per cent of Australian adults can’t swim 50 metres or more without stopping.
Childhood lessons, however are paying off for the under 25’s.
This research, commissioned by Kingswim, has revealed swimming capabilities are much higher in the under 50 age range, with the ability to swim at least 50 metres declining with age thereafter.
“Unfortunately, these statistics are reflected in the Royal Life Saving 2018 Drowning Report, with 32% of drowning deaths occurring in the 55+ age range compared to 19% for under 25’s” says Kingswim Marketing Manager, Rowena Thomasson.
“While these are terrible statistics it’s not all sad news, the survey revealed younger demographics had a much higher swimming ability, which correlated to the swimming lessons they received as children.
“The survey found that people who had lessons as a child through two or more channels (e.g. from swimming school, family/friends or at primary/secondary school) are more likely to feel their lessons were adequate.
“Close to half of 18-24-year-olds say they had swimming lessons through three or more channels, 84% believing they received adequate swimming lessons as a child – demonstrating how crucial it is for children to receive professional swimming lessons in addition to anything taught at home.
“At the other end of the age spectrum among people aged 65+, around 60% either received lessons through only one channel, or can’t swim at all.”
Kidsafe Victoria CEO Melanie Courtney says that swimming lessons are a critical part of a comprehensive home pool safety defence.
“Children can drown quickly and silently in just a few centimetres of water. Swimming lessons, together with active adult supervision of children – both in and around water first aid knowledge and a compliant and well maintained pool barrier are critical elements in keeping your family safe over the coming summer season.”
Mum of three, Jenny Ong says she knows all too well the anxiety caused by not being able to swim as an adult.
“Neither my partner or I are confident in the water so teaching our girls to swim was always going to be difficult for us,” she says.
“I won’t swim anywhere I can’t touch the bottom and don’t want my children to feel the same uneasiness in the water.
“My eldest two are now both in regular lessons at Kingswim, which they absolutely love and I’m relieved to know they’re mastering a life-saving skill.”
Kingswim swim schools have been providing lessons for 30 years. For more stats from this research and to find out more about enrolling your child to swim, visit Kingswim.
Kingswim has taught more than 14 million swim lessons to Aussie kids over the last 30 years. Kingswim offers programs for babies from 12 weeks of age, right through to graduate level swimmers at its 20 centres across the country. For more information on Kingswim programs and the benefits of year-round swimming please visit www.kingswim.com.au