Swimming lessons for adults
Why some people never learned how to swim
While swimming lessons are now a mandatory part of primary school in Australia, for many, being in or around large bodies of water can cause feelings of anxiety and unease simply due to their inexperience in the water.
Some children and adults may simply have never gotten the lessons due to affordability, access, disability, or a lack of priority in areas where swimming was not common.
The report also found that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, First National peoples, ethnic minorities, and rural residents were at a greater risk of drowning due to their lack of education around water.
As an estimated 30 per cent of Australians are new migrants who are also inexperienced around the water, they may have not had the same opportunities for swimming lessons or taught water safety skills – but this doesn’t mean it's too late to learn and enjoy the water safely.
Why is it important to know how to swim?
First of all, swimming is engrained in Australian culture and a cornerstone of our lifestyle. Getting in one of the country’s many pools, beaches, lakes, rivers, and waterholes with friends and family is one of the icons that make this country great.
That aside, the major reason to know how to swim is a life-saving skill. While swimming and water safety education has been a part of the Victorian Curriculum since 2017, not every Australian has had this opportunity. Without knowing basic swim skills, going into the water can be extremely dangerous.
This can greatly impact quality of life, as well as the ability to properly supervise children in the water and understand beach and pool safety regulations.
Australia is surrounded by water, which is why organisations such as Royal Life Saving Australia have committed to Australian children having the ‘right to a comprehensive swimming and water safety education.’
With an aim for ‘a water-loving nation free from drowning,’ it is imperative that people feel comfortable in water, and know the signs to look for to keep themselves and others safe.
Aside from the potential life-saving benefits and added hobby also provides many health benefits. When used as a form of exercise, swimming can be utilised to assist in building endurance, muscle strength, and cardiovascular fitness, tone muscles and build strength.