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The start of something extraordinary

Water Babies programme launched again in Tauranga

Tauranga Water Babies programme launched last week in response to the high level of young children who are non-swimmers in the Bay of Plenty – a region rich in water play spaces.

The programme has an objective to get more caregivers and under-fives into the water and to engage and educate parents to experience and develop confidence around aquatic environments with their child.

At the beginning of the programme, all parents/caregivers receive a workshop from Swimming New Zealand (SNZ) on how to teach their children to swim and to give them confidence when taking their children swimming.

After only one week of the six week programme, the progress was very real and it was great to see so many whanau coming along to the lessons, not only to watch but to lend a helping hand getting the children ready to go in the pool and looking after other children in the family.

The programme is a collaboration between SNZ and Sport Bay of Plenty with the fantastic assistance of local Quality Swim Schools (CCS Disability Action Swim School and Bayswim Swim School), Hauora’s and Plunket.

With funding from Legacy Funerals, Water Babies is able to provide six free learn to swim lessons for parents and toddlers in the Tauranga area.

Water Babies was set up to provide lessons for those who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity and the weekly lessons give families the confidence and knowledge to enjoy the water with their under-fives.

Last summer over 150 children under five, along with their parent/caregiver, participated in the same programme providing feedback that they all felt more confident in the water with their child.

“Our confidence in water has really grown, Islah is so much more adventurous and happy to explore in the water than before attending these lessons. I am also more safety conscious and confident with Islah in and around the water.”