Swim school draws them in
Hot Marlborough summers often mean one thing - swimming. But being safe in the water is something we should all learn from an early age.
The Stadium 2000 Swim School is a-buzz with children learning to handle themselves in water with about 1400 swimming students coming through their doors each summer.
The school's 25 part-time instructors teach children from as young as six months how to swim.
Parents from as far as Kaikoura make the trip to Blenheim for their children to learn and practise their water skills in a heated pool.
"We came for a week in October last year and we have come again," said Kaikoura mum, Suellen Pamment.
"We make a holiday out of it and the kids come for lessons every day - they love it."
She said that the heated pool was a big factor for the kids wanting to attend lessons and being able to spend more time in the water.
"We got here at about 9am and they have been in the pool all morning, even though their lesson is half an hour they swim before and after."
Another Kaikoura mum, Myra Smith, said that living near the sea, it was particularly important for their kids to learn to swim. "Marlborough summers are also so hot and they love to go swimming at friends' pools.
"Now we know that they are confident in the water," said Myra.
"There are actually a lot of kids who don't know how to swim, which isn't right."
The two families plan to bring their children back for further lessons through the summer on Saturdays.
"It's really fun and you can learn heaps," said Bridget Smith, 8.
One instructor, Alana McLuckie, who has been teaching swimming for the past four years, said that the lessons are more than just about teaching the basics of swimming, they give confidence to enjoy the water.
"It is a really important life skill to have and you are never too old to learn," said Alana.
She loves to work with the younger children and enjoys the challenge of getting hesitant kids to love swimming.
"Each child is different; some come round very quickly while others need more time to get comfortable and start enjoying it but they all do eventually," she said.
For information on the swimming lessons contact Stadium 2000 on 03 577 8300 or visit the website stadium2000.co.nz.
The Marlborough Express