Press Release – Hutt City Council
Taita kids are becoming better swimmers thanks to their schools’ involvement in KiwiSport swimming lessons.
In 2010 only one percent of a group of Year 5 kids could swim 200 metres – now that’s improved to 52 percent. Other groups are improving too like Year 7 kids who have gone from nobody being able to swim 200 metres to a 38 percent achievement rate.
At the beginning of the project an aspirational target was set of all children being able to swim 200m confidently and competently by Year 8. This was in line with Water Safety NZ research that showed that only 20 percent of children are able to achieve this standard.
The swimming success of Taita’s kids is owing to eight lessons per child per year being provided at a subsidised rate by qualified swim instructors at Council facilities. Hutt City Council further subsidised the programme for low decile schools, including those in Taita.
The programme included free or subsidised bus transport and professional development sessions for school teachers to help ensure long-term success of the programme.
Year 5 kids are likely to be such successful swimmers because they started lessons early and have built up their skills over four continuous years.
Full results: percentage of children in age group achieving 200m
Year 8 = 0% Year 8 = 23%
Year 7 = 0% Year 7 = 38%
Year 6 = 7% Year 6 = 36%
Year 5 = 1% Year 5 = 52%
Year 4 = 2% Year 4 = 13%
Year 3 = 0% Year 3 = 5%
Year 2 = 0% Year 2 = 0%
Year 1 = 0% Year 1 = 0%
Funding for the project is provided through the Sport Wellington KiwiSport Regional Partnership Fund and Water Safety New Zealand Sealord Swim for Life.