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:
For more information see Learn to swim or Parenting