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Community Articles,

Swimming is a must

Swimming Classes Should Be Taught in All of Our Schools (Primary, Secondary and Tertiary)

Adults Need to Learn too – What Would You Do if your child was drowning and you do not know how to swim.

 

Introduction

We live on an island and many of us do not know how to swim. Tourists and expatriates are flocking to the Caribbean to enjoy something that we take for granted.

I know that there are other priority areas that the need to be placed in our curriculum such as technical subjects,Turks and Caicos Studies/culture, civics and tourism but I also think that swimming lessons should also be a top priority in our Curriculum in both the public and private schools. I think it should be mandatory for every child to enroll in a swimming class.

 

Facilities

Other than the public beaches, we do not have any major swimming facilities for training in TCI. Of course, the International School of the West Indies has a pool and swimming is taught at their school. A number of private swimming classes are now held at the International School.

I think in the 2019/20 budget, the TCIG should partner with the private sector and build major swimming facilities throughout TCI. These facilities can be used to train children and adults. Families will have to pay a membership fee to ensure that the facilities are properly maintained. Once our facilities are constructed, we can encourage and promote international swimming events in TCI.

In the meantime, the schools can start the swimming lessons this school year and make an arrangement for the use of the pool at International School or other pools.

 

Professional Instructors

Let me take this opportunity to thank all of the professional instructors that are currently doing swimming lessons for our children and adults. A special thank you to Ms. Angela of Swim and Surf who is teaching me and my boys. I know there are other individuals and companies such as Jill Swann, Lenin Hamilton, Surfside Ocean Academy and others (whose names I do not know) who are also providing swimming classes.

I encourage the Public and Private Schools to ensure that they recruit professional swimming instructors as part of the program. In fact, rather than reinventing the wheel, they can use some of instructors above at their schools.  Obviously due to the number of students, additional instructors will have to be recruited. If we recruit instructors externally, I think the work permit fees should be waive to encourage swimming throughout the TCI.

 

Drowning Statistics

Research has indicated that globally:

  • 360,000 people die from drowning each year
  • Drowning is the 3rd leading cause of death for children aged 5- 14 years.
  • Males are twice as likely to drown than females

 

Learning Lessons

One day I took the boys to my apartment complex to have some fun in the pool. Because the twins cannot swim, they normally sit on the steps on the pool and play. Somehow, one of my boys almost got drowned because he ended up coming of the steps and my pool is very deep. One of tenant’s daughter was able to rescue my son and I am forever grateful to that family. After that experience, I vowed that this will never happen again so I enrolled my children and myself in swimming classes with Swim and Surf.

Do not wait until it is too late.

 

Benefits of Learning how to Swimming

  • Saves Lives.
  • Makes you Smarter (according to some research).
  • Alleviates Stress.
  • Keeps you Fit.
  • Maintains your heart rate.
  • Basic life and rescue Skill.
  • Builds up your muscles
  • A great form of exercise

 

Possible Career opportunities

The TCI is well known for its coral reefs and many tourists flock to our shores to enjoy our reefs and beaches. We do not have much land-based activities in the islands. By learning how to swim, you have an opportunity to engage in a career by starting a water sports company to accommodate the thousands of tourists that visit us.

 

Conclusion

I encourage everyone that does not know how to swim to enroll in a swimming class. I also encourage the Government and the Private School to implement swimming classes this September even if you cannot do it for all classes, start with at least three classes.

Swimming is one the best gifts anyone can receive.  The life you save may be your very own life. Therefore, let us make swimming mandatory in all schools. If the government is not willing to do it at this time, then please enroll you and your children in a swimming class.

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