Swimming lessons were once such a dreaded part of P.E. that many of us fervently hoped for a verruca simply to avoid getting in the pool.
Now some schools no longer offer lessons and many parents either can’t swim themselves, or aren’t sure how to teach their children to understand water safety and become strong, confident swimmers. That’s why more than half of primary school children can’t swim a length of a pool by themselves.
Yet swimming is one of the best all round forms of exercise, combining a full-body workout with great fitness benefits, fun and very little chance of injury since the body is fully supported.
Add in improved flexibility, a break away from our allconsuming phones and enhanced body confidence and self-esteem, and it’s clear that learning to swim can set your child on the path of fitness and wellbeing for life.
It can also save lives, so it makes sense to teach children to swim and to enjoy being in the water when they are very young.
If you don’t have the confidence to teach your children yourself, then there are plenty of options around the city and shire. It’s best to check out the timetable at your local pool and book a session or two before signing up for a block of structured lessons.
If your child turns out to be a natural water baby, then consider signing them up with a local swimming club to develop their skills and competitive streak. You can find a list of clubs at scottishswimming.com.
Aquatics Aberdeen offer lessons for pre-schoolers with options for babies, toddlers and nursery-aged children in five different age bands and at nine different pools in the city. They also run classes for school age children and classes for those with special needs, as well as teaching adults to swim. The latest timetables and booking information are available from sportaberdeen.co.uk/swimming-lessons.
David Lloyd Aberdeen have a great 25m indoor pool and a regular programme of coaching for both adults and children. There are family swim sessions, a children’s training pool and a great area for kids to splash about and have fun. Find out more about family memberships at davidlloyd.co.uk.
In the shire, Aberdeenshire Council offer regular lessons from birth to adults, though there can be a long waiting list. They also have intensive lesson packages over most holiday periods. Places can be booked online at aberdeenshire.gov.uk or in person at a pool. Rookie Lifesavers classes are available for confident swimmers aged 8-12, with Survive and Save classes for adults and over 12s.
Turtle Tots offer classes for babies and toddlers at pools across the city and shire, and even have an Aqua-natal Yoga programme for pregnant women. See turtletots.com for details of class times.