JUMP! Swim Schools, which are known nationally for teaching children life-saving swim skills, have decided to open their doors to teach adults as well.
The reasons why many adults don’t have basic swim skills are varied but the danger is certainly there, with Royal Life Saving Australia research showing one in four adults are unable to swim well. The most recent Royal Life Saving Australia Drowning Report data also showed the top age groups for drownings as adults aged 25-34, 35-44 and 65-74.
A select number of swim schools in the JUMP! network run the adult classes with more locations to follow over the coming 12 months.
Much like lessons for children, the program aims to introduce adults to the water in a safe and gradual way with small class sizes. JUMP! Swim Schools’ industry leading program has been adapted to cater specifically for adults
CEO of JUMP! Swim Schools Mark Collins said offering classes to adults was a natural progression for the brand and a community service they were very excited about providing.
“There are many adults who don’t know how to swim or can’t swim well enough to keep themselves safe in the water – more than most people probably realise,” said Mark.
“There are a range of reasons we’re discovering why this is the case, including an unaddressed fear of water, lack of family resources for lessons and immigration from countries where swimming lessons are not as common.
“As an adult there are many skills we tech ourselves, but swimming is one of those skills you really need to learn from a professional.
“We have the boutique facilities and the highly skilled teachers to be able to help – and so we are.”
Mark said they also encourage more men to come forward – a study by Royal Life Saving Society – Australia found that 60% of adults in swimming lessons are female, despite males being over represented in drowning statistics.
“We offer a very welcoming and encouraging environment and offer support to those adults who may not have any basic swim skills, or even a fear of water.”
Nina Darious is taking lessons at JUMP! Swim School Mernda West and said learning to swim will change her life.
For Nina, the journey to learn to swim has been a long one, impacted by a tragic bomb blast accident in her home country of Sri Lanka when she was just 10 years old.
“Sri Lanka was plagued with civil war and the chance to go to school was a big deal, let alone extra activities like learning to swim,” said Nina.
“When I was very young, I was in a boat with my mother that sank. Luckily, we were rescued by a fishing boat that was very close by, but I think the memory has stayed with me and contributed to my reluctance to swim.
“Then I was injured in a bomb blast that caused significant damage to my legs and feet, leaving me with no calf muscle on my left leg. It took me a year to be able to get my feet back on the floor and swimming was off the cards because of the risk of skin infections.”
Nina came to Australia with her parents and three brothers when she was 16 and her desire to learn to swim has grown stronger and stronger with age, especially after having two children.
“I feel that I have missed out on experiences over the years because I was unable to swim, like when I visited the Great Barrier Reef with my husband after we married. I desperately wanted to snorkel but I couldn’t.
“And once you have kids a lot of activities start to revolve around the water, especially here in Australia, whether it’s the beach or water theme parks.”
Nina has been taking weekly lessons for 12 months now and is very proud of the progress she has made.
“I thought I would never be able to swim without hanging on to a noodle or a board but recently I finally achieved this! I can’t swim very far yet, a couple of metres without the noodle, but it’s more than I ever thought would be possible. I can also float on my back and I don’t feel uneasy anymore if the swim teacher is on the other side of the pool.”
“Learning to swim is like learning to ride a bicycle – once you learn, you won’t forget. I’m so happy I am giving myself this skill that I will have for the rest of my life.”
Get in touch with your local JUMP! Swim school today, to get started!