Sport & recreation  |  21 Sep 2020

Christchurch parents are being encouraged to make sure their children have the skills to stay safe in the water this summer by enrolling them now for Swimsmart lessons.

“Summer is just around the corner so it won’t be long before we start heading off to beaches, rivers, lakes and swimming pools,’’ says Christchurch City Council Head of Recreation, Sports and Events Nigel Cox.

“Before that happens, I would strongly recommend that parents of children who don’t know how to swim, or who feel unsure in the water, enrol them in our Swimsmart programme so they can gain the skills they need to be confident and safe in, and around, the water.’’

The full Swimsmart programme starts on 28 September – the start of the spring school holidays.

“With potentially fewer people heading away these school holidays, it is a great time to get the kids swimming lessons started. 

“We’re following the Ministry of Health, Sport NZ and the Worksafe guidelines for COVID-19 Alert Level 2 and have protocols in place to ensure children’s safety during the lessons,’’ Mr Cox says.

To enrol in the Council’s Swimsmart programme, you need to have a Swimsmart membership. These can be purchased at the Jellie Park, Graham Condon, Pioneer and Taiora QEII recreation and sport centres. Community service cardholders can get a 25 per cent discount on Swimsmart memberships.

“With a Swimsmart membership kids get a weekly lesson and unlimited access to our indoor and outdoor pools so it is a great way for them to build-up their skills. Once a child learns how to swim, it will be a skill they’ll have for life,’’ Mr Cox says.

“When a child first enrols in Swimsmart, we do a five to 10-minute swim assessment with them so that we can gauge how confident they are in the water. That assessment helps us to place them in the correct class for their skill level.’’

*Anyone who buys a Swimsmart membership between now and 18 October will go into a draw to win a one-year Swimsmart membership. Existing Swimsmart members will automatically go into the draw.