Swimming lessons can do more than save lives

More than a lesson: Swimming offers dads, such as Adam Dovile, the perfect opportunity for quality time in winter
More than a lesson: Swimming offers dads, such as Adam Dovile, the perfect opportunity for quality time in winter

While winter might be the time most people rug up and stay indoors, celebrity builder and Kingswim ambassador Adam Dovile has encouraged parents to keep up the family activities during the cool months, especially swimming lessons.

"As a family we typically spend a lot of time outside and time with the kids is largely outdoor activities like gardening and building, which can get pretty restricted in this weather," Adam said.

"I've found the girls' swimming lessons are the perfect chance to keep up our time together. Particularly at this young age, being able to get in the water and take part with them is a lot of fun."

Kingswim said research showed this type of quality time, where parents are focussed and relaxed, is far more beneficial to children than the quantity of time spent and that weekly swimming lessons are the perfect opportunity for quality time.

"I love seeing the girls (and myself) so engaged in something that's not only a lot of fun, but also teaching them a valuable and potentially lifesaving skill," Adam said.

"In addition to being regular, quality time for me and the girls, it's a great way to keep fit and active during winter, get off devices and cure cabin fever. Plus keeping up lessons during winter means we can relax and enjoy our family beach time come summer, knowing the girls are well practiced and safe in the water."

Kingswim Area Manager Anne Brown said they've seen a shift towards dads taking a more active role as the 'swimming parent'.

"While taking part in lessons with kids is the perfect opportunity for bonding and quality time for both parents, we see dads in particular jump at the chance to have that crucial skin to skin contact with bub that mum may already be getting at home," Anne said.

"This is especially important during winter when active and outdoor activities can be restricted. Swimming is a great chance to get active, have fun and learn something new with the kids.

"In addition to the bonding benefits for parents, children who keep up swimming lessons during winter not only improve their ability and safety around water, but also improve their immune system, therefore becoming more resilient to stress and illness.

"Swimming has also been proven to assist in brain development and for school-aged children, is regarded as vital for the development of academic performance, as well as coordination, motor skills, balance and concentration," she said.

Adam's 'dad-hacks' for battling the winter chill:

  • Rug up and be prepared - bring the kids already in their swimming costume, rugged up in a dressing gown. This will allow for a fuss-free start to their swimming lessons, and then you will only need to bring along one spare change of clothes. If your lesson is in the evening, change the kids straight into their PJs after the lesson to save changing again at home.
  • Don't forget the brolly - bring along an umbrella to keep your trip from the car to the pool dry and protected from the weather.
  • Sort out the locks. With two girls, I've mastered the quick pony and plait. However, swimming is even easier with swim caps to keep hair dry and tangle free. If the kids aren't cap fans, tie their hair back to keep it out of the way during lessons and remember, wet hair does not cause colds.
  • Keep Mum and Dad happy - there's one sure-fire way to keep the adults happy on a cold winter day - coffee! I never leave home without a full thermos.