Swimming and Positive Development in Children

I’ve always loved swimming, and always intended to take my children from a very young age – I wanted to get them completely used to being in the water early on and to learn whilst they are most receptive to it.

new research looks at swimming and positive development in children

Unfortunately that didn’t happen and I never really took Ava swimming whilst she was very small – I think I was just reluctant to take her on my own when she might scream her head off – but I really wish I had now. She really loves going swimming now and has been quite a few times recently, but it’s taking her a while to really get used to being in the water and she doesn’t like water going over her face or head. It’s something we’re working on as much as possible, and helping her to slowly learn to swim and she’s definitely improving and getting more comfortable in the water, but I would like to start taking her to lessons so she can learn to swim properly.

Ava’s young cousin has been going swimming since he was tiny, and he’s super confident in the water and loves going under – and it’s lovely to see. I think it’s a really important thing for kids to be able to do, and a great skill to have – both for enjoyment as well as for safety reasons. And now there’s apparently another reason why swimming is so great for kids…

Swimming and Positive Development in Children

New research shows swimming lessons have positive impact on achievement for primary school pupils.

Findings, by registered charity and leisure provider Fusion Lifestyle, suggest swimming lessons could be the key to giving children a head start as they start school.  The findings reveal that children who have taken swimming lessons are significantly more likely to perform above average in maths, English, literacy and sport, than non-swimming children.

The survey further strengthens the link between swimming and the positive mental and physical development in young children and shows how incredibly important it is.

1,000 parents of children aged 4 – 8 revealed the following:

  • 45% of children at Reception level who have had swimming lessons have achieved reading age 5 or above, with only 27% of those who haven’t had lessons in this range
  • Children who have taken swimming lessons are more likely to enjoy reading (54%) than non-swimming children (47%) and are more likely to read daily outside of school (45%) than those who haven’t had lessons (36%)
  • Children are also more able to recite their times tables, than those that haven’t taken swimming lessons, with 39% of swimmers able to recite their 5 times table v only 28% of non swimmers
  • 37% of these children are also more likely to enjoy maths “very much”, vs only 29% of those who haven’t had lessons
  • Swimming also appears to help overall sporting performance with 37% of those who have taken lessons performing above average in sport and PE, compared to 28% of those who haven’t taken lessons

Jon Glenn, Head of Learn to Swim at the Amateur Swimming Association, commented: “Swimming is a great way for children and young people to stay fit and active. Learning about water confidence at a young age is also important to help children to stay safe in and around water.  For some time now, swimming and physical activity has been recognised as having additional positive impacts on development and social skills. We would recommend all children take part in swimming at the earliest possible opportunity, whether that is by having fun in the pool with families or receiving formal swimming instruction.”

Chris Jones, Group Sports and Development Manager of Fusion Lifestyle added, “The new school term is the perfect time to start thinking about swimming lessons and we hope these findings will give parents and guardians even more of an incentive to help their children get active and get in the pool. We passionately believe that children should learn to swim.  It’s the only sport that can save your life, it’s a great way to exercise and now our research suggests it can help children do better at school too.  We facilitated 3.5 million lessons in 2015 and are committed to increasing that in 2016 and beyond”

With 80 Fusion-run pools across the UK, their dedicated ‘Swim School’ programme offers ASA approved lessons that, under the Learn to Swim Framework, help children achieve confidence in the water. Over 46,000 children learn to swim with Fusion every week with their expert instructors in a friendly, safe and fun environment. Have a look at www.fusionswimschool.com to find out more.

I’m definitely going to look into swimming lessons for Ava to start, once she has settled into school, and got more used to the tiring days!

Do you take your children swimming? Is is important to you that they learn to develop this skill at a young age?

This is a collaborative post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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