WORLD Triathlon Champion Melinda Cockshutt is passionate about teaching children the skills to ensure their safety.
“Being around water and hearing their laughter is one of the best things you can hear from kids,” she said.
Ms Cockshutt is offering free swimming lessons through her business Swift Swim School for children under five during national Learn to Swim Week.
According to the latest data released by the Royal Life Saving Society, the total number of people who drowned in Australian waters in 2015-16 was 280, five per cent higher than the previous year.
Ms Cockshutt said there is often no warning to parents that their child has got themselves in danger because they approach the water silently.
She said it’s important to educate children on the dangers associated with water, so that they can take precautions and get themselves out of trouble if necessary.
Poolwerx Franchises Leon and Natalia Poltorasky said as drownings are one of the leading cause of preventable deaths in children under five, it was concerning that financial hardship and a perception about the right age to be taught to swim were preventing families from giving their children a life-saving skill.
“With the Learn to Swim Week initiative we aim to break down the barriers parents face when teaching their kids to swim,” Mr Poltorasky said.
To sign up for free swimming lessons for children under five parents can visit www.learntoswimweek.com.au, enter their post code and contact Ms Cockshutt at Swift Swim School for details.