Central Coast Mariners Chairman Michael Charlesworth was 24-years-old when he first learnt to swim.
“I only learnt to swim after immigrating to Australia from England,” Charlesworth said, now in his early 40s. “I know full well the importance of swimming schools and facilities in Australian communities.”
With one in five children said to leave primary school without knowing how to swim, Charlesworth’s story is not all that unique. His story has come to light following the Mariners announcement of a new swim school to be opened at the Mariners Centre of Excellence at Tuggerah this month.
To be managed in partnership with the YMCA (the Y), the YMCA Mariners Aquatic Centre will specialise in providing swimming lessons and programs that meet local needs. “One of the primary aims of the Centre is to offer facilities that help to improve the lives of people in the local community,” Charlesworth said.
YMCA Swim School Centre Manager Darren Crumpler says learning to swimming is an important skill for life. “Swimming lessons are an essential part of every child’s education,” he said. “At the Y, our programs go beyond stroke correction and equip children with skills that can be transferred to other, potentially dangerous water situations. We will have programs available for everyone ages 6 months plus and our programs run year round.”
To celebrate the opening of this brand new swim school, the Centre will be hosting a free Swimming Lesson Assessment Day on Saturday 28 June. “Families can come down to the centre, receive a free swimming lesson assessment and book their child into a YMCA Swimming Lesson program,” Crumpler said. “Enjoy a free sausage sizzle and a jumping castle with your family too!”
YMCA Swim School begins swimming lessons on Monday 7 July. Visit ymcaswimschool.org.au or call 1300 723 468 for more information.