A new programme aimed at improving the swimming and water safety skills of primary school pupils has started in Kāpiti.
Twenty children from Waitohu School in Ōtaki are the first in the district to participate in the programme, which is subsidised by the KiwiSport Partnership Fund.
Over the next four weeks, the pupils will have eight swimming sessions with qualified teachers at the Ōtaki pool. When the programme is finished, each child will receive a ‘Swim for Life Passport’ to mark his/her achievement and chart future progress.
“It can be difficult for teachers to focus on a full class in the pool at once,” says Waitohu School Principal, Maine Curtis. “It’s awesome we have been able to offer targeted swimming lessons to small groups through this programme.”
The Kāpiti Coast District Council is working closely with KiwiSport and local primary schools to make sure as many children as possible are taught to swim in the new scheme.
Teachers will also be provided with resources and training to improve their skills in swimming instruction.
“This is a whole-school approach to raise the profile of swimming,” says Claire Anderson, Kāpiti Coast District Council’s Sports Facilities Co-ordinator.
“The programme has brought together a number of agencies who share the aim of helping children develop their swimming skills and improve their confidence in the water.”
More schools in the district will participate in the programme next term. Council is also working to bring other KiwiSport programmes such as Get Set Go (athletics) and football to Kāpiti later this year.