New research released this week by Royal Life Saving Society – Australia aimed to shed light on who attends adult swimming programs, how long they are in lessons and how much they are spending on classes. It also highlights the types of adult swimming and water safety programs offered and charts the improvement in swimming and water safety skills.
This study identified that a variety of swimming programs are available around Australia for adults, including public swimming lessons, subsidised lessons, and fully funded programs, with most adults in swimming classes attending just nine lessons on average – approximately five hours in the water.
The Australian Water Safety Strategy 2030 identifies swimming and water safety skills as a key factor for reducing drowning among all age groups, however this study found that most adults taking swim lessons are only acquiring basic skills in the water.
Regardless of the type of program they were attending, and how long they had been attending lessons for, the study found that most adults were unable to swim more than 25 metres upon completion of their program. Just eight per cent could reach the National Benchmarks set for 12-year-olds at the end of their program.
Royal Life Saving Research Manager Stacey Pidgeon said that while many swim schools offer swimming programs for adults, this study highlights more could be done to align adult swimming and water safety programs with the National Swimming and Water Safety Framework. This would ensure that adults develop a range of swimming and water safety skills, just as children do in their lessons.
The study also found that 60 per cent of adults in swimming lessons are female, despite males being over represented in drowning statistics.
View Full Report Here