Winter is a great time for swimming too!

Parents and carers must not opt out of swimming lessons for their children as the weather gets cooler, warns Royal Life Saving - highlighting that if they do they may fall behind.  

Royal Life Saving is concerned about the common misconception that drowning deaths only occur in Summer. In fact almost one third of drowning deaths in the 5 to 14 year old age group happen in Autumn and Winter.  

Many facilities are open all year round and can be found on the Royal Life Saving Swim School Locator.  

Winter is in fact the best time of year to participate. Children are more likely to improve skills and endurance by building on skills already learnt and may progress quickly to the next stage. Swimming as regular exercises strengthens the immune system so children may be less likely to fall ill
over the colder months. Having breaks over winter often results in children’s skills experiencing a plateau or even going backwards.  

Royal Life Saving CEO Justin Scarr points out figures show drowning deaths happen all year round, including Autumn and Winter.  Justin Scarr says it is a common misconception that drowning deaths only occur in Summer.  

Figures show in the 10 year period from 2002/03 to 2011/12, 44 children aged 5 to 14 drowned during Autumn and Winter, accounting for 31% of the total drowning deaths in this age group.     

UNCLE TOBYS Ambassador and Olympic Gold Medallist Cate Campbell is a strong believer in swimming all year round. Cate won Gold at the 2012 London Olympics and two Bronze at the Beijing Olympics.  

Cate Campbell said, "When I was learning to swim, I practiced throughout the year. I believe that my continuous participation built strong foundation skills and it is the reason I have been successful as a competitive swimmer."  

As Cate is gearing up over winter for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, she understands why some people think it’s too cold to swim. “Sometimes you have to really motivate yourself to get into the water, but once you are in and swimming, you really enjoy it.”    

Royal Life Saving and UNCLE TOBYS have been working together since 2009. The Partnership raises awareness of the importance of swimming and water safety education with parents and carers by encouraging children to learn to Swim and Survive.  

Justin Scarr added, "Swim and Survive lessons are a great way for children to stay active and healthy during Winter. More importantly, they provide children with vital life skills in water safety, personal survival and basic rescue."  

"We are very proud of our Swim and Survive Partners across Australia. They work tirelessly to teach young children valuable swimming and lifesaving skills and work together with us to promote water safety. Over 15 million Australian children have participated in the Swim and Survive program".  

“Australia’s learn to swim and aquatic industry is impressive in its dedication to helping children learn to swim,” Justin Scarr said.  

To help parents and carers search for a Swim and Survive Swim School an easy to use Locator is available at In just a few mouse clicks, the Locator will indicate where local programs are, that can help children learn valuable swimming and lifesaving skills.   


  • Enrol into swimming and water safety lessons such as Swim and Survive. To find a Swim and Survive Swim School near you, visit  

  • Keep warm and avoid playing in the water prior to the lesson time so children can concentrate fully during the lesson. 

  • Wear a swimming cap to keep the head warm and if wearing a rash vest these should be a firm fit. After lessons have a warm shower, dry hair and dress warmly in dry clothes including a beanie and footwear.


Media Enquiries:
Ross Woodward | Media Key | 03 9769 6488
Kristal Grainger | Royal Life Saving Society - Australia  | 0416 250 2920416 250 292

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