Summer is finally here. In two weeks my girls and I will head down south to spend the summer with my parents. They live on a lake, are a short drive to the beach, have a pool at their house and a wonderful neighborhood pool not far. My girls enjoy spending countless hours in the pool, taking dips in the ocean, and fishing on the dock by the lake. At a recent event with SwimToday and Momtrends, I started asking myself why haven’t I signed my girls up for regular swim lessons, not only for fun but for water safety especially now that we spend summers surrounded by water.
I recently attended a Momtrends event with Olympic Swimmer, Dara Torres and the SwimToday organization. At the event we talked about the reasons for not signing up. Some reasons were time and cost. I was talking with a few of the moms and it was mentioned when is a good age to get your child swimming. Is there a right age? I started talking about my 5-year-old daughter. I wish I had started her at a much earlier age. I took her to her first swim lesson when she was two. I thought having her older sister who was anxious to learn would help ease her fear of getting into the pool. It didn’t, she screamed and refused. She hasn’t been interested in learning. She has gotten too comfortable with her pink water wings. This summer there is no question she has to learn.SwimToday, is a campaign to showcase swimming as the Funnest Sport that can take kids from learning to swim and continuing on to join a competitive swim team. I have been able to locate facilities nationwide that offer lessons and teams for kids. I even found a facility not far from my parents house. It was reassuring to hear from Dana Torres, that although she learned to swim early she didn’t join a team until 7 or 8. Listening to Dana and parents of children who swim brought back many fond childhood memories on the summer swim team and swimming on my high school team. Not only is the comradery incredible, the encouragement and cheers can fill a room. After learning nearly 80 percent of parents don’t consider swimming as a competitive sport for their kids after completing swim lessons, I would love to encourage my girls to join a team as they gain confidence in the water. Not only is swimming “fun”, there are many benefits. The top ten benefits to swimming are:
· It’s closer than you think – 62 percent of families live within 10 minutes of a pool; 52 percent of households with combined income of $50,000 or less report they have access to a pool nearby.
· Everyone participates – Swimming is inclusive, there are no benchwarmers (nor benches)
· Swimming is a team sport – Only 16 percent of non-swimming parents view swimming as a team sport but parents of swimmers associate the sport with teamwork more than any other sport
· Suit up and go – Only a swimsuit, cap and goggles are necessary to get started
· Life skills – Swimming increases self-confidence, self-esteem, time management, goal-setting and social development
· Easy to learn – 76 percent of parents said the ease of learning to swim was high
· Low risk of injury – No contact makes for a safer environment
· Swimming = total body fitness – Burn 650 calories in an hour – more than walking, biking or team sports
· Sport for life – Once you learn to swim, you can enjoy no matter your age
· Swimming is FUN – Parents confirm that swimming is the #FunnestSport
Do your kids plan on taking lessons or joining a team this summer? What do you think about swimming as a team sport?
Disclaimer: I received swim lessons and a starter kit for attending the event. I can’t wait to share our experiences with SwimToday. Thank you to everyone who made the event possible. Information in italics is from http://www.swimtoday.org.