Swimming for recreation, survival and competition has existed throughout human history. It was included as a sport in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.
Recognition of specific styles of swimming is relatively new, with the freestyle (or front crawl) introduced in 1902, and the butterfly in the 1930s. Synchronised swimming was introduced at the turn of the 20th Century.
The governing body, Swimming Australia, has around 90,000 registered members in 2011 in 1,100 clubs across the country. Australia also has a long and entrenched culture in life saving and ocean swimming due to its vast coastline.
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Information on Swimming for Kids in Australia
Is swimming for your child?
Professional and competitive swimming is organised by style and distance. Therefore it is one of these kids' activities that are so diverse that your kid is sure to find at least one type of swimming he will like. Competitors swim for the best time in a number of heats, culminating in a championship race. During racing events, any swimmer who leaves the blocks before the starting signal (know as a false start )is automatically disqualified from the race. Swimmers represent a school or a club but swim individually, except for the relays, and their times contribute to team ranking. Depending on the competition, the size of the pool is either 25m or 50m long. The time records are classified depending on this size. Synchronised Swimming and diving are two other types of water-based activities taught in clubs.
Swimming is highly recommended by exercise experts and the medical profession. Although it is better to learn with a professional, you may simply teach your children yourself keeping in mind all security aspects.
Swimming has many know benefits:
- Regular swimming builds endurance, muscle strength and cardio-vascular fitness
- Swimmers develop life skills such as self discipline and have an increased sense of self worth due to their participation in the sport.
- Swimmers, generally seem to do better in school
- Provides agility and co-ordination
- Creates Increased breathing capacity
- Survival techniques and water safety
- Provides exercise and rehabilitation during periods of injury
- Swimming is a lifetime sports that benefits both mind and body
Pools around Australia offer swimming lessons for children and babies. With babies, a parent or guardian normally needs to be in the pool with the baby as well. Most schools and clubs participate in swim meets and competitions. Prices and charges vary, but average $10 - $30 per lesson. Check with your local Swimming Cubs for prices and class availability.
A variety of equipment is recommended for kids beginning swimming classes and courses, including:
- Bathers or swimsuit
- Sunscreen (if swimming in an outdoor pool)
- Floaties or bubbles
Other optional equipment can include a snorkel, swim-fins and paddles. Most equipment is available for hire at clubs and pools, or provided at each class. For toddlers, waterproof nappies are compulsory in public swimming pools. Children should never be left unattended whilst swimming.
Stars and Events not to be missed!
Both the Olympic and Commonwealth Games promote swimming as one of the premier sports, and it is widely televised throughout Australia. World championship meets are also held annually.
Australia has competed strongly in international swimming championships since the first modern Olympics. Australia has achieved a great deal of success in swimming, boasting some of the world's all-time champions. Ian Thorpe won 3 gold medals in the Sydney 2000 Olympic games.
Many of our household names are swimmers, such as:
Kieren Perkins, Grant Hackett and Hayley Lewis, Geoffrey Heugill, Cate Campbell, Christian Sprenger and many more.
Swimming is a great kids activity its also a good way for the family to have fun together.