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Attain a life skill, take up Swimming today

Swimming is among one of the most important and useful life skill everyone should have. Not only does it allow you to participate in water sports like kayaking, water polo or scuba diving, it is also a preventative measure against accidental drowning. All children should be taught swimming and water safety skills to ensure their safety in and around water.

For a start, floatation devices such as kickboards, floats or inflatable armbands can help you stay afloat so that you can focus on your stroke technique. When you are able to swim without any aid and want to improve on timing and technique, you can switch to other devices which add resistance to your workout to build muscular strength and tone.

Fins fitted on the feet are good for training the legs to help you swim faster. Hand paddles add propulsion to your arm strokes because they move more water. They also work your arms and shoulders harder because of the extra resistance in the water.

The three most popular swimming strokes are free-style, breast-stroke and back-stroke. Free-style is the most popular stroke and the easiest for beginners to learn, while the breast-stroke and butterfly strokes are more difficult to master, but is popular for those who swim to keep fit.

Swimming is beneficial for mothers-to-be. Exercising in water can considerably reduce the joint stiffness and discomfort often associated with pregnancy, and helps strengthen abdominal and shoulder muscles.

For those recovering from surgery or injuries, swimming offers some aerobic benefits as all the major muscle groups are given a workout without having to contend with the strain or impact of exercising on land.

SwimSafer Programme - Water safety is no child's play
National Water Safety Council (NWSC) rolls out new SwimSafer Singapore swimming programme to teach primary school children how to stay safe in the water

Melissa Pang, The Sunday Times

Over 10,000 pupils from 65 primary schools have taken the plunge to learn water safety, enrolling for the new SwimSafer swimming programme launched by the National Water Safety Council (NWSC).

SwimSafer, the six-stage scheme with 12 hours of lesson time per stage, aims to impart essential skills to help them save themselves when facing dangerous situations and covers life-saving techniques, said Dr. Teo Ho Pin in July 2010, during the launch of the SwimSafer programme at Geylang East Swimming Complex with Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, and Singapore Sports Council (SSC) chief executive Oon Jin Teik.

All 24 SSC swimming complexes will kick off with this new programme, and more schools are coming on board, with the Ministry of Education (MOE) and MCYS joint subsidy of up to S$70 per child for primary school pupils in Singapore.

Monthly course fees varies from S$50 to S$100, depending on the class size and instructor. For safety reasons, the maximum class size is one instructor to 10 pupils.

Over 650 swimming instructors has been trained by SSC since April to June 2010 for the new SwimSafer programme, which combines both the previous National Survival Swimming Award (NASSA) and the Learn-To-Swim Programme (LTSP) into a progressive six-stage programme.

Learn more about the SwimSafer programme or visit SSC official media release.

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