Almost 30 kids under the age of five drowned in Australia last year. It’s what legendary swim coach Laurie Lawrence labels unacceptable.
The former Olympic mentor is continuing on his mission to have ‘zero child drownings’ and is encouraging all parents and grandparents to take advantage of Learn to Swim Week.
The initiative (which runs between Sept 23 and Oct 2) sees centres across the country offer free lessons to kids between the ages of one and five.
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Mr Lawrence hopes families will see the importance of continuing the life-saving lessons after the free week.
He told myGC, Australia’s water safety education, which is spearheaded by his own creation – Kids Alive Do the Five – is the envy of the world.
“When we first started the program, 63 little kids under five drowned. Last year 29,” Mr Lawrence said. “But it’s still a busload of kids. We want zero.”
The grandfather knows swimming lessons can be put on the backburner as families look to tighten the purse strings, but hopes grandparents step in.
“I call on grandparents to do this. You can’t take your money with you!”
“And why don’t you take them? Get in and have one of the most beautiful experience you can have, one-on-one, with your grandchild in the water.”
You can head to the Learn To Swim website for more information.
There is also a Kids Alive Do the Five app that can be downloaded via Google Play or iTunes.