Swimming for Kids

Swimming is a great competitive sport

Swimming New Zealand, the national organisation that represents swimming, offers club membership, recreational membership and life membership. New Zealand also has a long and entrenched culture in life saving and ocean swimming due to its vast coastline.

Swimming was included as a sport in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. Recognition of specific styles of swimming is relatively new, with freestyle introduced in 1902. Synchronised swimming was introduced at the turn of the 20th Century.

Swimming New Zealand, the national organisation that represents swimming, offers club membership, recreational membership and life membership. New Zealand also has a long and entrenched culture in life saving and ocean swimming due to its vast coastline.

A video of Swimming for Kids

Watch this swimming tutorial, presented by experienced swimming instructor Samantha Raffio

Information on swimming for kids in new zealand

Is swimming right for your child?

Professional and competitive swimming is organised by style and distance. Because it is one of the most diverse kids activities, your child is sure to find at least one type of swimming they like. Usually, competitors swim for the best time in heats, before competing in a championship race. Swimmers usually swim individually, but as representatives of their school or club. In relay events, swimmers swim as part of a team. Pools are generally either 25m or 50m long. Synchronised swimming and diving are two other water-based activities that can be taught in clubs.

Swimming is highly recommended by exercise experts and doctors. Although it is better to learn with a professional, you can teach your children to swim yourself so long as you educate yourself on the potential dangers.

Swimming has many known benefits. Swimming can:

  • Build endurance, muscle strength, and cardio-vascular fitness
  • Teach life skills, such as self discipline
  • Promote a sense of self worth
  • Improve academic performance
  • Encourage agility and co-ordination
  • Create increased breathing capacity
  • Impart urvival techniques and water safety
  • Provide exercise and rehabilitation during periods of injury

Get your kids started!

Most pools across New Zealand offer swimming lessons for children and babies. With babies, a parent or guardian usually needs to be in the pool as well. Most schools and clubs participate in swim meets and competitions. Prices and charges vary, but are usually around $10 - $30 per lesson. Check with your local swimming club for prices and timetables.

Parents will need to make sure their child has access to the following equipment before he or she starts swimming classes:

  • A swimsuit
  • Goggles
  • Sunscreen (if swimming in an outdoor pool)
  • A kickboard
  • Floaties or bubbles

Other optional equipment can include a snorkel, swim-fins, and paddles. Most equipment is available for hire at clubs and pools, or provided at the commencement of class. For toddlers, waterproof nappies are compulsory in public swimming pools.

Remember, children should never be left unattended whilst swimming.

Stars and events not to be missed!

Both the Olympic and Commonwealth Games feature swimming as important events. World championship meets are also held annually.

New Zealand has performed well in international swimming, earning a total of six medals (including two gold medals). Notable Kiwi swimmers include Danyon Loader, Malcolm Champion, and Paul Kingsman.

Swimming is a great kids activity, and a good way for the whole family to have fun together.

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