Adult ‘Learn to swim’ programme coming soon – Minister Ramson

A programme aimed at teaching adults to swim, as well as open days to allow persons to swim for leisure will be facilitated at the National Aquatic Centre (NAC), Liliendaal, this year.

Lights will also be installed at the facility before the end of the year to accommodate evening swimming.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr made the announcement during the closing ceremony of the Easter ‘Learn to Swim’ programme at the NAC on Saturday.

The Easter programme saw over 2,000 youngsters aged six to 18 learning how to swim, or improving their swimming skills over the two-week period.

Minister Ramson said the programme allowed the participants to be constructively occupied during the Easter vacation.

“Many times, children, when being introduced [to the water] for the first time, are scared…. They’re not sure what to do. They’re not sure if they are going to come back up…. It’s not a very familiar environment to them. So, with us having this programme, you have a controlled environment, one that is supervised, so that when your most precious ones are entrusted in our care, you are confident to know that they are being returned in just as good as, and even a better state than you have left them with us,” he stated.

The minister thanked parents for their confidence in the ministry’s ability to take care of their children, and commended those parents who made an effort to attend the sessions.

“The success of this programme is the success of our partnership. The partnership that the government is leading, and that you are collaborating and being a part of to ensure that the outcome is successful. Because we all share the same goal, which is the overall development of our country, and our people,” Minister Ramson said.

He also urged more parents to get their children involved in the National Sports Academy to boost the country’s athletic capacity.

“We want the numbers to increase. It’s very clear that when we are looking to build an academy, we need, at our nursery level, many more participants [and] young people who are going to be involved in the sport. From there, it will operate in a progressive way, so that we can take the best athletes and swimmers, and they can continuously graduate to different levels so that they can become elite athletes,” he said.

The Easter ‘Learn to Swim’ programme was conducted at the NAC, Liliendaal; the Colgrain Swimming Pool, Georgetown; the Albion Estate Pool, Region Six, and the Watooka Swimming Pool, Linden.

In July 2022, the ministry held a ‘Teach Them Young: Learn to Swim’ summer programme. It lasted for four weeks, with some 1,700 young swimmers participating.

That programme will also return this year.