One of our amazing swimmers Lily recently went swimming in the ocean in Torquay. Lily, having recently turned 6, started regular swimming lessons with our Bendigo site in 2017. Having been in regular swimming lessons for a number of years, Lily has developed some excellent life saving water skills, however in the ocean she often still felt more comfortable with a life jacket on.
In December 2020, Lily and her family went to the beach for a day trip to enjoy the sunshine and a swim. They often visit the beach in Torquay and for the first time Lily felt comfortable in not wearing her life jacket down at the beach.
Lily was on her boogie board riding the waves and at one stage got knocked off. This has happened before, but Lily had the added safety of her life jacket. Usually, even with this extra layer of safety, being knocked into the water from a wave would scare her and she would begin to panic and want to come out of the water.
This time Lily got knocked off and immediately responded with her learnt skills and began to doggy paddle. She held her head back and calmly waited for her mum, Susan, to wade in and help her up. Once her mum arrived, she jumped back on her board and went back to her boogie boarding with excitement. All of this despite the fact that her extra layer of protection, her life jacket, was no longer being used!
Susan was so proud of her daughter for reacting with such calmness and skill, and she was so grateful to the team who’ve been teaching Lily for the past 3 years, that she called the site the next day to thank them for the incredible job they had done.
We are so proud of moments like these, that make what we do so worthwhile. The repetitive practising of survival skills that we incorporate into our swimming lessons mean that when children are in a situation that is a bit scary, the habit kicks in and they can respond with poise, which helps keep them safer.
Regular swimming lessons have been proven to reduce the risk of drowning by up to 88% (according to the American Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine) and at all of our Paul Sadler Swimland sites we teach survival skills at every level. We spend 10 minutes of every lesson (until swimmers can tread water unaided for 2 minutes) in the deep end teaching survival skills like treading water, safety circles and recovery – just like what Lily did in the ocean. These skills, when practised and repeated week after week compound to help keep children safer in the water.
Following this, Lily’s mum Susan sent a message to our team ‘Thank-you for the incredible swimming lessons and teaching Lily life skills Paul Sadler Swimland!’ but we thank you for allowing us to teach Lily to be a safer swimmer and for sharing this amazing story with the team!