While swimming lessons organized by schools are important, the ultimate responsibility for swimming skills lies with the homes.
Nordic according to the definition of swimming skills, a person must be able to swim in deep water 200 meters, of which 50 meters on his back, after falling into the water and getting on the surface of his head. Does it work? A quarter of Finnish sixth-graders are unskilled. About 30 percent of adults.
There are so many shorelines and lakes in Finland that each of us comes into contact with water. Swimming skills should be part of everyone’s basic skills. It brings security to the water and provides opportunities for comfortable, social and physical situations.
According to a study just published by the Finnish Association for Swimming Education and Lifesaving, 55 per cent of Finnish municipalities offer swimming lessons for every grade from pre-school to sixth grade. Almost half of the municipalities are excluded from education. Children are also in an unequal position in terms of the number of hours of swimming lessons. In only about 12 per cent of municipalities is teaching according to the curriculum for six hours at each grade level of primary school. Swimming is the only sport mentioned in the curriculum because of its importance.
Swimming lessons organized by schools play a significant role in children’s swimming skills. Equally important is parental support, and ultimately the responsibility for swimming skills lies with the homes. The best time for a child to learn to swim is at the age of 7-9. Swimming schools in different parts of Finland will start soon. Right now is the time to enroll your child in a swimming school, and maybe you should enroll there yourself.
The Water Heroes project, coordinated by the Finnish Sports Association, inspires you to practice swimming and rescue skills in a variety of ways. The project will support schools and parents in promoting these skills by providing materials and events. The goal is to inspire everyone to become water swimmers. Material and more information can be found at www.vesisankarit.fi.
Water Heroes Coordinator
School Sports Association
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