"If schools can't get their students to a pool, why not bring the pool to the school?
It sounds far-fetched, but that's exactly what WaterSafe Pools2Schools programme is doing in Auckland..."
Pt England School has never had a swimming pool and providing water safety lessons for the 600+ students has become increasingly difficult as the local swimming pool, a short walk across the field, has intensified the barriers: regular price hikes, making access very difficult (ever tried taking 60 kids for swimming lessons in ONE lane -while the other lanes have at most 1-4 members of the public doing lengths in them?), and a general attitude of intolerance to the local children sullying their waters. It became so difficult that a group of children invited the Mayor of Auckland to school in 2010 to present to him their concerns about why they were unable to access their local swimming pool.
So it was a wonderful bonus when Watersafe Auckland decided to bring their pool - and all the associated paraphenalia - to the school and put it down on the netball court! And as an added bonus it also came with WaterSafe Auckland's aquatic education facilitator Chris Burton, who taught the students and the teachers.
Check out the video below to get an idea about it, and this article in the Sunday Star Times. And more from the kids themselves about it below....
The students LOVED the whole concept and blogged endlessly about it:
On Friday after school the hard courts were empty but on Monday it was a different story.
When I came to school a pool had magically appeared. I went to go see how big it was but there was a big bunch of kids doing something so I went to see what all the commotion was about. It was just people admiring the school pool...
We all had life jackets to put on. Some of them were a tight fit and some of them fitted snugly. When I put on my life jacket I was shivering and shuddering.
Eagerly waiting outside the pool, we all had to put on a life jacket. It was damp and clammy because it was wet.
I wish we could still have the swimming pool so we don’t need to walk down to the public pool near our School.
Chris is from Water Safety NZ, he is very kind. Chris teaches the whole school about safety, one of the safety rules is to float on your back and don't panic.
As I hopped into the pool my teeth started to chatter like beaver gnawing at wood. After a while I got used to it and and the chatter of my teeth started to die down.