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Olympian Supports Learn2Swim Week

As part of Learn2Swim Week, we have have teamed up with Kids Alive and Olympian Melanie Wright. Learn2Swim Week runs from September 30 – October 7. Click here to sign up now! Campaign ambassador Melanie chats to Families Online about her sporting career and the importance of swimming lessons.

What attracted you to swimming?

For me, it was the challenge of it all. 14 is considered quite late to start swimming at a competitive level, so the girls I would race were often much faster than me. I enjoyed the challenge of improving myself, setting goals and going after them. That feeling of reaching a goal you’ve worked hard for is what kept me in the sport for so long. That daily mental and physical challenge was difficult, which is what made it all the more rewarding.

melanie wright

What is your career highlight?

Two career highlights spring to mind – the first would be the 2007 World Championships. It was held in Melbourne and the atmosphere created by the home crowd was electric. Our relay team won gold on the first night by a fingernail as the underdogs. It was my first taste of international success and I still get goosebumps thinking about it.

The other highlight was the 2012 Olympic games in London. I had qualified after taking a year off swimming, and fulfilled my childhood dream of winning an Olympic gold medal on the first night, anchoring our relay team. As if it couldn’t get any better, I was able to follow it up with two silver medals later in the week. It really was a fairytale for me.

What skills have you learned from training that you apply to parenthood?

There are so many skills you learn in sport, no matter what level you reach – persistence, determination, goal setting, time management. All of these skills come in handy as a parent as I’m sure all mums and dads will agree. If I had to pick one, the most important skill I mastered in the pool is probably resilience.

In elite sport, things don’t always go to plan, and you need to learn how to bounce back. As a mum, I make mistakes all the time. I say things I wish I didn’t, I react in ways I shouldn’t have, I make the wrong decisions – but each time I do, I learn from it and try to be better next time.

What can parents do to keep kids safe?

Supervision is absolutely number one. Parents must put their phones down and watch their kids in the water (that includes in the bath!). But of course, swimming lessons will teach kids water safety skills so they can potentially save themselves if they ever got into trouble.

Learn 2 swim kid in pool

The Poolwerx Learn2Swim week is a great initiative that provides free swimming lessons to kids under the age of five, and can serve as a good reminder to us all of how important water safety is for kids.

I will never regret taking my daughter to swimming lessons, but I know if something were to ever happen to her, I would regret it knowing I didn’t.

REGISTER FOR A FREE SWIMMING LESSON!

Register your child for free swimming lessons with Learn2Swim Week, or find a swim school near you!

Go to Learn2Swim Week

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We All Win with Learn2Swim Poolwerx’ Learn2Swim Week returns nationwide for its eighth year 25 Sep - 3 Oct Tragically, in Australia 25 children under 5 lost their lives prematurely from drowning in Australia in the last year, a 108% increase on last year and a 9% increase on the 10-year average, with 8 of these incidents happening in swimming pools. In New Zealand, three children under the age of four lost their lives last year. This is why Poolwerx and Kids Alive are back again this year with Learn2Swim Week, offering free swimming lessons for children under five from Friday 25 September to Sunday 3 October, in an effort to reduce childhood drownings. Over the course of a week, swim schools across Australian and New Zealand will offer free swimming lessons to children under the age of five as part of the water safety initiative, with registrations still open for swim schools to sign up for the annual event. Despite water safety remaining top of mind for many families, new research from Poolwerx reveals around 15 percent of parents surveyed still know someone who had, or directly encountered, a near-drowning experience – highlighting the importance of teaching little ones basic water skills to make swimming safe and fun for parents and toddlers. Further, over 30 percent of parents whose children participated in Learn2Swim Week in 2020 enrolled their children in ongoing swim classes after the week was over2, highlighting the impact that Learn2Swim Week has on both children and the parents enrolling them. Ex-Olympian swimmer Libby Trickett, alongside former Australian Olympic swim coach and Kids Alive founder Laurie Lawrence, has partnered with Poolwerx to support the initiative, urging all parents to sign up for Learn2Swim Week this year and get their kids enrolled in lessons. Libby Trickett said, “As a mum myself, I’m really proud to be championing Learn2Swim Week for Poolwerx this year. I know just how important it is to develop swimming skills when you’re young, and really capitalise on the opportunities our beautiful climate gives us to enjoy time in the water here in Australia. Former All Blacks centre, now Crusaders and Wellington (NPC) Assistant Coach Tamati Ellison, has also partnered with Poolwerx to support the initiative, urging all parents to sign up for Learn2Swim Week this year and get their kids enrolled in lessons. “I’m really proud to be supporting Learn2Swim Week for Poolwerx this year. Growing up my siblings and I spent a lot of time around the water which helped us develop key swimming skills plus build amazing memories. Learning how to swim and feel confident in the water is important at all ages. For us Kiwis, it allows you to enjoy the New Zealand summer and keep whanau safe in and around the water,” says Tamati. “Tamaiti akoana ki Te kaukau, noho haumaru ki Te wai, Tau Ana. Okea ki a Urorotia ako ki Te kaukau I tenei rā (A person who learns to swim is safer in the water. Give it your best, learn to swim today),” he adds. Poolwerx COO Nic Brill reiterated Poolwerx’ commitment to water safety, encouraging parents to take advantage of these free classes. “Swimming is a way of life for most Kiwis and Aussies, but sadly we’re still seeing backyard drownings. That is why it is crucial to introduce kids to water safety as early as possible. As Australasia’s largest pool servicing brand, we feel that we have both an opportunity and a responsibility to promote safe water practices in our community,” Brill said. “Nearly 2.7 million Australians and 58,000 Kiwis live in a house with a swimming pool, and with people staying at home more over the last eighteen months through COVID, we know this number is rapidly increasing. That makes Learn2Swim Week an even more vital initiative, and one which we are proud to pioneer.” To locate your nearest participating swim school and sign up for a free class, visit www.learn2swimweek.com. Swim schools can still register to participate at www.learn2swimweek.com/register-your-pool/   [1]Royal Lifesaving Australia National Drowning Report 2021 [1]2020 Provisional Drowning Report [1]Independent study of 275 responses, carried out by Poolwerx