Over the half term Charlie, Megan and Olive did a week of intensive swimming lessons, which is pretty normal for us, as they do them most holidays. Charlie had moved up to stage 4 and was loving no longer being in the trainer pool, his confidence has come on so much and so has his skills. He is really modelling some great stroke technique too especially in the backstroke.
I'd heard about a free event Oceans of Fun being held by Zoggs UK at the Leisure Centre and found out a few friends were going so booked Charlie on. I didn't sleep a wink all night Friday as I was so worried about him. I knew he probably couldn't cope with masses of full length swimming and 3 hours was a long time in the pool! But Charlie was raring to go and brimming with confidence.
The children were separated into 5 groups and covered 5 disciplines, fast swimming, synchronised swimming, water polo, life saving and CPR, during the 3 hours. They started with a talk by Adam Whitehead – who was funny, charming and frankly made me want to be an athlete! (sucks in saggy belly)
At the end in groups of 6 they all swam against one of the Olympic Athletes. Charlie by this point was exhausted his stroke was more doggy paddle and he was really struggling. Adam jumped in a swam up the side and then in front of Moo shouting encouragement and keeping him going. He could have so easily given up and despite finishing after the others in his group, the smile on his face when he made it to the end and received a medal was priceless! I was so so proud!
Charlie loved every moment of Oceans of Fun and has now managed to get onto a weekly stage 4 class. Olive already attends Ferndown Leisure Centre once a week and is flying through the stages. SwimShop UK offered us £25 worth of swimming aids, the website was easy to navigate, the prices are really reasonable (you can shop via TopCashBack) and the delivery was fast (I did struggle with the checkout and had to order over chat in the end). I choose snorkels and masks for all 3 of them hopefully we will get to use them in the summer holidays. For Megan I got some snazzy pink googles for lessons as she didn't have any and for Olive some dive toys. I've been taking Olive swimming on a Friday afternoon (as she's a member it costs us a mere £1) and she has loved playing with the dive toys. It has really boosted her water confidence and it's fun too!
I'm looking forward to spending time this summer in the pool. We like to go to places with fun pools, slides, rapids and have a whale of a time. Hopefully some swimming with our snorkels! A recent study found that 57% of children between 7-11 years old cannot swim. I'm not expecting my children to Olympic swimmers but it's important to be water confident. In a bid to change this SwimShop UK are running a ‘Save a Life, Learn to Swim’ campaign. You can download some fun activities to do with your children here. Also why not check out your local swimming pool – lessons could be a lot cheaper than you expected.