I am a very proud father tonight as my son was today awarded his ten metre swimming badge. He is five years of age and has come a long way from the young boy who at one stage was so scared of water that he would not even take a bath. As soon as I put him into the bath he would jump out towards me like a frog and cling on to my body, shaking. I believe swimming is a very important skill that each child should learn as it is a skill that one day may just save their life.
I am not really sure as to why my son had such a dislike to water when he was a baby and toddler. Being from an Inner City water has never really played a big part in my life. Lets just say there are not any beaches in close proximity. Football was always my passion – swimming certainly not.
In an attempt to make my son start to see water in a more fun way I decided to take him to the local swimming baths. With the aid of the latest safety wear such as armbads and a specialised safety vest plus the fact that I told him I would always be there with him was my way of attempting to make him feel much more confident about the whole situation. I went as far as to suggest that Daddy was frightened of the water and requested for him to keep me safe. He seemed to like this idea.
The swimming baths themselves are like a fun pool as it has a number of slides, some big and some small. It also has a wave machine. To say my son loved every minute was an understatement and he insisted that we should return as soon as possible.
When he was four years of age he agreed to attend swimming lessons at another local swimming pool and a year on is doing so well it is untrue. He even swims a width where he is mainly underwater and has gained a knickname of shark boy by the swimming instructors.
I would advise more parents to help and encourage their young children to swim.