Kids diving back in

Holly ThompsonSound Telegraph
Swimming teacher Joanne Jolly teaches Sahara Pittaway, 10.
Camera IconSwimming teacher Joanne Jolly teaches Sahara Pittaway, 10. Credit: Holly Thompson/ Sound Telegraph

Swimming lessons have begun to resume, with students across Kwinana and Rockingham keen to take to the water again.

The Kwinana Swim School started lessons on July 6 with its Holiday Swim Program and has encouraged parents in the area to enrol their children.

For some students getting back into the pool is more important than ever.

Sahara Pittaway, 10, takes lessons through the Kwinana Swim School’s SAIL program, offered to students with an intellectual, physical or behavioural impairment.

Her mother Michelle Bennett said for Sahara, swimming lessons were also a form of physical therapy, after she suffered from a brain tumour about three years ago.

“She was out of lessons for four months, I pulled her out of them about three weeks before the pools shut,” she said.

Swimming teacher Joanne Jolly teaches Sahara Pittaway, 10, how to swim.
Camera IconSwimming teacher Joanne Jolly teaches Sahara Pittaway, 10, how to swim. Credit: Holly Thompson/ Sound Telegraph

“Sahara had brain cancer three years ago, so because she has been through chemotherapy and radiation she is more susceptible to COVID-19.

“She has really missed her swimming, she loves it here, when I asked her if she wanted to come down to the pool again she was very eager.”

Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams said while the lockdown had been disruptive to lessons, it was for the safety of the community.

“All children across WA should have the opportunity to learn to swim,” she said.

“Our instructors are looking forward to being back in the pool and helping students gain their confidence in and around the water as they work towards their swimming goals.”

Royal Life Saving Society of WA has encouraged parents to re-enrol children across the State, after an estimated 50,000 kids missed out on swimming lessons during shutdown.

RLSSWA swimming and water safety education senior manager Trent Hotchkin said now the WA Government has deemed it safe to do so, getting kids back in the pool as soon as possible was extremely important.

“Learning to Swim and Survive is a vital life skill that all WA children need to safely participate on, in and around water,” he said.

“Building swimming and water safety skills in young children is vital and the single most important investment we can make as a community to prevent drowning.”

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