Swimming for life
Research shows swimming helps kids reach intellectual milestones
We all know that teaching our kids to swim is giving them essential-and potentially lifesaving-life skills. But did you know learning to swim could make your child smarter?
Recent research conducted at Griffith Institute for Educational Research revealed children who had learned how to swim from a young age reached many developmental milestones earlier than other children the same age that had not.
Sponsored by Swim Australia, the research was conducted over a period of four years, and surveyed the parents of 7000 under-fives from Australia, New Zealand and the US, in addition to 180 children from three to five years of age. It makes the Early-Years Swimming Research the world’s most comprehensive study into early-years swimming.
Each year, the parents of each child were interviewed concerning their child’s development, and these responses were correlated and compared with expected progression. Comparisons between the results showed that children who swam developed visual-motor skills such as cutting paper, colouring-in and drawing lines and shapes and skills for solving mathematical-related tasks earlier than their non-swimming counterparts.
“Many of these skills are highly valuable in other learning environments and will be of considerable benefit for young children as they transition into pre-schools and school,” says Griffith Institute for Educational Research project leader, Professor Robyn Jorgensen.
The research findings are great news for the swimming industry, actively encouraging those who teach or coach swimming to continue to make a difference in young people’s lives with their educational programs.
“For a long time, we’ve understood the benefits of swimming – physically, emotionally, socially,” says Ross Gage, Swim Australia CEO.
“But we are very excited that our Australian Unity Learn to Swim program – offered nationwide by Swim Australia Registered Swim Schools - has been recognised as not only a leading swim program, but a program filled with potentially enhancing life skills, that could make your kids smarter.”