Swim schools provide more specialised swimming instruction for all ages and are a great place to get your child swimming. In South Africa, all swimming instructors should have completed their training at a Swimming South Africa Accredited (SSA) Swim School or Centre. Swimming South Africa is the governing body of aquatics in South Africa.
How to choose a swim school
It’s important to choose a swim school where you’re going to get good quality instruction for your kids, and also a place where they are going to feel at ease with the instructors. There’s a lot to think about, so here are a few of the top things to check out both online and when you visit them in person:
- Accreditations – SSA accreditation is what you should look for.
- Quality of instructors – not all teachers are equal and some schools have structured on-going teacher training programmes to make sure your children are getting the best.
- Safety – schools should have documented safety procedures and all instructors should be qualified first-aiders (which is in anyway a prerequisite for instructors to get their SSA Accreditation).
- Location – some schools have their own site, while others partner with local councils and gyms to use their facilities.
- Range of courses for different age groups – not every school caters for infants and kids. If they do, the starting age is usually 6 months and older.
- Water temperature – kids need warmer water than adults, otherwise they get cold and tire more easily. Often kiddie pools will be warmer than the main pool; look for a temperature around 30 °C for babies and infant swimming.
- Venue – find a pool that’s close to home, is well maintained and has enough parking. Other things to consider are change room facilities, showers and even snacks for afterwards.
- You can also try asking other parents who have kids at a swim school for their opinion.
- Try out a school for 1 or 2 lessons and see how it goes. Schools will often offer a free orientation class so that your child’s swimming skills can be assessed – this is your chance to get a sneak peak at the teachers and facilities.
Find a South African swim school:
- Swimming SA - Learn to swim
- Swimming Stars - Learn to swim
- Swimming SA - Find a swimming school near you
- Total Immersion SA
- Swim Dynamics SA - Swimming courses