Aussie Olympians Michael Klim and Andrew Lauterstein join Victoria’s “We All Swim Together” Campaign

Michael Klim with kids Stella,13 Frankie 7 and Rocco 10
WE ALL SWIM TOGETHER: Dual Olympic champion Michael Klim urging Victoria to re-open its pools.Photo Courtesy: Michael Klim Collection

Aussie swim stars Michael Klim and Andrew Lauterstein join““We All Swim Together” campaign to urge Victoria to re-open its pools

Swimming Australia’s newly appointed National head coach Rohan Taylor, Learn To Swim Victoria Director Joanne Love and Swimming Victoria CEO Jason Hellwig have been joined by some of swimming’s biggest names to encourage the re-opening of Victorian pools.

The campaign video is aimed at helping Victorians to get back in the swim of things in tough COVID times, a collective call to let Victorians swim.

Olympic gold medallist Michael Klim has been joined by fellow Olympian and internationals Andrew Lauterstein, Toby Haenen, Shayne Reese and Sam Ashby to band together to lead Victorians back into the water.

 

“We All Swim Together” has been launched today by ASCTA in conjunction with Swimming Victoria, urging all Victorians from those parents taking their kids for their first lessons to squad and State and National level swimmers to be ready when pools start to re-open.

Lauterstein says “it’s been a tough year..tougher than racing Michael Phelps in an Olympic final….kids need to get back in the water to learn essential life skills.”

Paul Sadler Swimland has also highlighted that a rise in child drownings may be a result of children in Victoria having had little or no opportunity to build vital life-saving water skills through professional swimming lessons over the past six months.

The leading swim school operator has reported that five children, aged two and under, have lost their lives due to drowning incidents in the past two months and that, since July, the Victorian drowning toll stands at 12, nine higher more than the five-year average.

In a statement, the Victorian-based learn-to-swim business advises that “these children, along with other Victorian and Melbourne Metro children, have had little or no opportunity to build vital life-saving water skills over the past six months – and this leaves them exposed.

“One of the biggest risks this summer, will be amongst children who were competent and confident last summer and who may no longer be, due to regressed swimming ability.

“Additionally, parents and guardians may not watch as closely, expecting that their children’s abilities are the same. However, with no lessons for over six months, this may no longer be the case – all Victorian kids will have regressed in their swimming ability to some degree.”

Noting that, coinciding with children not being able to learn essential water safety skills, child drowning rates have increased worldwide in 2020, the statement notes “this has been evident in countries that were not closed as long as Victoria has been … whereas, participation in formal swimming lessons are associated with an 88% reduction in the risk of drowning, according to the American Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.”

“With summer approaching and the demand for water-based activities increases and is a serious concern to all those involved in the aquatic industry.”

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