Kaikoura families are travelling to Blenheim so their children can learn and practise their water skills in a heated pool.
They are among the 1500 swimming students who take part in the Stadium 2000 Swim School each summer. The school's 25 part-time instructors teach children from as young as 6 months how to swim.
Kaikoura mum, Suellen Pamment said: "We came for a week in October last year and we have come again. We make a holiday out of it and the kids come for lessons every day - they love it."
The heated pool was a big factor for the children wanting to attend lessons and being able to spend more time in the water, she said.
"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 it was particularly important for children living near the sea 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," she said.
"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. Alana McLuckie has been teaching swimming for four years, and said the lessons are more than just about teaching the basics - they give children confidence to enjoy the water.
"It is a really important life skill to have and you are never to old to learn," she said. "Each child is different; some come round very quickly while others need more time to get comfortable and start enjoying it."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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