Everyone can learn to swim, regardless of their age or ability.
According to Royal Lifesaving board member James Borbone not knowing how to swim meant children could miss out on school activities.
“We had children in high school participate in water safety for school camps, and there were a number of children who could not swim or could not swim very far, which meant they would miss out on camp,” he said.
Mr Borbone said more and more swimming lessons were also aimed at adults.
“A consistent trend in the national drowning report is that men in their late teens to early 20s are the demographic with the highest number of drowning deaths, and a lot of the time alcohol is involved,” he said.
“Another area of focus is people with non-Australian backgrounds, as they are wanting to take part in the aquatic culture of Australia but don’t have the knowledge or awareness that we have.”
Mr Borbone said there were two messages everyone needed to remember to help reduce the number of drownings in the country.
“The earlier you get your children into the water, and familiar with the water, in structured programs, the better,” he said.
“Parents also need to be actively supervising their children, and this means you’re in the water with them, at arms length, in case something happens.”
With this in mind, swimming lessons are available in the Highlands.
The Moss Vale Aquatic Centre provides swimming lessons to children from the age of six months using the Royal Lifesaving Swim and Survive program.
Classes are held Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 12.00pm for pre-school, infants and babies, 3.30pm to 6.00pm for school-aged children, and Saturday 8.00am to 12.00pm for all ages.
The Rainbow Club is also held Saturday afternoons to teach people with a disability how to swim.
For more, visit www.mvaquatic.com.au/ or call 4868 1967.
Lessons are also available through the Aquabliss School of Swim at Frensham, Mittagong. There are learn to swim and development classes, as well as adult programs.
Development programs include fitness and squad, and children can move up through the classes.
Adult Squad is held Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 6.00am to 7.00am.
For more, visit www.aquabliss.com.au/frensham/ or call 4872 3672.