Did I really say that…..

We are very lucky in that the area where I live has quite a few swimming pools within a half hour drive.  I have a full olympic size one just five minutes from home and a slightly smaller one in the larger leisure centre complex about ten minutes away.

As well as use of the gym and fitness rooms my membership at the leisure centre gives me the option of a warm water exercise/recouperation pool; whereas at the local pool that’s just what you get – big long indoor pool, plus outdoor medium size and children pools – at a much cheaper cost then the leisure centre.  Guess I’m greedy in that I utilise both of them.

One day last week I decided late morning to get the togs and towels out and go close to home – the early morning ‘oldies’ and the preschool swimming classes would be finished so there be plenty of parking close to the building.  An absolute necessity on a day of pouring rain – nothing worse than getting wet before you have to.  Of course in the summer time it’s trees we look for – nothing worse than driving home in an overcooked car lol

In I go through the revolving door and stopped dead in my tracks

Lanes sectioned off, kids everywhere, and the noise was deafening.  I looked at a lifeguard standing near the door and made a face before muttering ‘ Oh that’s just not fair, I was so looking forward to a peaceful swim’

Then asked why there were no buses outside to warn me I’d have company.

Term four she said, our busiest for school swimming lessons. (For those that don’t know, that’s the spring leading up to summer term) The buses drop one grade, turn around, go back to the school to pick up the next grade by which time this lot will have had their lessons and be ready to go back to school where another grade will be ready to board – and so on.  I suppose our kids were lucky in that living so close they just walked there and back each week.

Thinking about it later I felt quite guilty – swimming lessons are a very important part of our schools curriculum.

So with a bit of digging around I discovered that as early as 1916 learn to swim classes were introduced by the Victorian Education Department, then the Herald ‘learn to swim campaign’ began in 1929  image

I’m sure our kids still have their original 25metre and life saving certificates.  As well as learning to swim learning to help others in need is also taught.

Now this handy dandy website tells me the current population of Australia is about 24 million – plus lots of other interesting facts and figures.


And in the year June 2016/ July 2017 there were 280 deaths by drowning in Australian waterways.  All these statistics and more are in this really easy to read very enlightening report.  (Swimming pools refer to backyard pools)

Click to access RLS_NDR2016_ReportLR.pdf






In a fit of pique I moaned about all the school kids at the pool – I still can’t believe I did that.

Guess I’ll have to leave them to it – and get to pool early morning.

Say about  8 am 🙂

13 thoughts on “Did I really say that…..

  1. We were taught to swim while at school…or at least, that was the idea.
    I did not like having my head pushed under heavily chlorinated water and was delighted to catch African Foot Rot which excused me from the loathsome sessions.
    I finally learned to swim in a nice warm hotel pool in Egypt…


  2. In my childhood swimming lessons were mandatory. Nowadays it is up to parents to source and pay for them. Everything changes.


  3. We all took swimming lessons from age 9 – 11 years old. A coach would pick us up and take us the twelve miles to the nearest indoor swimming pool in Saffron Walden. Nothing changed since Victorian times. Cream and brown wood changing stools and a beautiful glass vaulted ceiling, all wrought iron work. Old Victorian tile work. Loved to go swimming, it took a whole morning.


  4. The only swimming we did from school was the annual swimming carnival. Whether we could swim or not was up to our parents. Mine insisted that we could swim.
    Glad to hear that some things have changed for the better.


  5. I have just joined a gym and am now going early mornings as well to avoid the rush! No school swimming lessons here, but groups and classes all day long (aqua-aerobics, parents and tots, swim team practice, etc.) Wish I had an Olympic size pool nearby!


  6. School holidays, especially the ones coming up at the end of this term, are the worst.
    We get to the pool between seven and seven thirty most mornings. But then. The squad training is done, and only we oldies and decrepits are in the water. Lol
    We too have a warm water pool. But I only use the main one.
    Then after an hour in the water we get dressed and go. Before any children descend.


  7. We didn’t have school swimming lessons, but there were State Swim classes at the local beach each summer. We never bothered with them, just swam as best we could having fun all summer long.
    I still can’t swim properly. My arms know what to do, but my legs and feet just waggle about any-old-how and I don’t have the proper breathing technique either. I learned by copying older people who swam keeping their faces out of the water. So I look odd. Who cares? I’m having fun.


  8. We must have had swimming lessons when I was at school as I remember not being fast enough (disability with my ankles) to be part of the school swimming sports but I could kind of swim…I most cope only with breast stroke because I don’t need the kicking feet part. But I love aqua walking.

    Not that I do that now…but I did a decade ago…when I was part of a gym/pool complex.


  9. Since I can’t swim, I made sure our kids could. They eventually both became swimming champs in high school. No one could believe I still couldn’t swim. So I’m all for kids learning how to swim.


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