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Why you should know how to swim, and swim well.

by Adele Rogers on Wednesday 18 January 2017


Our continent is really just one giant island. Access to beaches and swimming pools is limitless. 

We’re so sure of this fact, we even sing about it in our national anthem. 

The University of Sydney counted something like 10,685 beaches over more than 40,000 kilometres of coastline. Not to mention the 12 per cent of Aussie homes that have a swimming pool. 

When it comes to swimming, most people think there are two types of people: People who can swim, and people who can’t.  

Most people are wrong. 

There are people who can swim, but underestimate the power and complexity of our beautiful but raving-mad beaches. 

There are people who can swim, but have their ability altered as a by-product of alcohol, drugs, or fatigue. 

There are people who can swim, but don’t realise that their ability when they were younger and fitter, doesn't necessarily apply when they're a little bit older.

We could go on. 

So, why should you make your swimming ability a priority?   

1. Most of the Australian population live within 50 kilometres of the coast. Regardless of how much you think you’ll never end up in the deep, deep blue, the chances are significant. 

Sometimes we catch boats and ferries. Sometimes we have a lifejacket on and sometimes we don’t. To be quite blunt, if the water is deeper than your height and you find yourself in it, knowing how to swim could save your life. 

2. It’s hardly a supervised wave pool out there. The ocean is powerful, unpredictable, and home to hidden dangers. It’s important to learn how to swim in both still water, and beach water - they are different.  

Rip currents take you, very quickly, to places you probably weren’t intending to go. If you know how to swim well, and have a grasp on the basics (like raising your arm when you’re in trouble), you’re much more likely to get yourself safely out of a pickle.  

3. You could save a life. Having the ability to swim is particularly important if you are a parent or work with kids. Children are naturally curious, and they move fast. Having your own ability in check, along with keeping your first aid skills up-to-date, could one day prove to be the most useful thing you do.  

4. Swimming can boost your mood, help you tone-up, and even sleep better! It’s a great cardiovascular workout that builds strength and endurance. Water provides a natural resistance requiring you to use many muscles, while also making the activity less strenuous on your body.  

5. It’s fun! Sun, sand and surf are part of our national identity. Being confident and familiar in the water will allow you to bask in the greatness. 

Water Safety Week is on in Club V from January to 23 to 29. Bring the kiddies to join an interactive experience where they’ll explore water safety in different water environments: farm, pool, home and beach.  Activities include wet play, colouring in, song, dance and physical activities - with a focus on key safety points in each environment.   

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