Swimming is a skill for life. Just like any skill, once you master the basics, it needs to be practiced in order to maintain it. For the Chernomorets family, swimming was always going to be a long-term part of the family routine.
Mum Elena enrolled son Ivan in swimming lessons when he was three months old, and daughter Anna when she was one. Since then, the children have progressed to ‘graduate’ from AUT Millennium Swim School, having passed through all levels, from baby Periwinkles classes through to the advanced fitness squads. “We always knew our kids were going to continue swimming lessons through to their teen years,” Elena says. “We chose AUT Millennium because they provided classes for all ages and fitness levels.”
Starting the children young was important for Elena. “Water is a natural environment for children, having been surrounded by water in their mother’s belly, so it is much less stressful for them to be introduced to ‘swimming’ when they are young,” she says. Both kids loved being in the water, especially Anna, who had seen Ivan during his lessons and couldn’t wait to join in.
Now aged 18 and 14 respectively, Ivan and Anna are pleased to have had so much time to develop their swimming ability. “I really enjoy the workout and fitness aspects,” Ivan says. “During a training session, I swam 2km on average!” Anna also enjoyed the physical benefits of swim training, but feels she learned more than just swim strokes. “AUT Millennium is such a positive and encouraging environment,” she says. “I enjoyed the satisfaction and feeling I would have after swimming, and built my water confidence, alongside the additional physical and mental benefits.”
Elena agrees that her kids got more out of swimming lessons than purely swimming skills. “Especially at the advanced levels, it teaches kids to concentrate, to put effort in and gives them enormous confidence to achieve their goals,” she tells. “And it’s also a good way for them to show off in front of their peers and other parents at pool parties,” she adds with a laugh. When asked when the children became competent swimmers, and she felt confident in their water skills, she feels it was when they were around 11 or 12 years old, “when they could swim a good few laps without stopping.”
Swim School Operations Manager, Rachael Jones, feels that swimming presents constant learning opportunities. “It’s an activity which aids in the physical development of muscles, but also of muscle memory,” Rachael explains. “It uses almost every muscle in the body, and so provides a higher level of fitness than other activities. For our swimmers, progressing through to the higher levels guarantees a certain level of competence beneficial in other water sports, like water polo, surfing, sailing and kiteboarding.”
In the water, Anna enjoyed all strokes, and found butterfly the hardest to master. Ivan’s favourite stoke is freestyle, and he says he found backstroke the least enjoyable. They enjoyed receiving positive and constructive feedback from their coaches at the different levels. Having seen the benefits of advanced swimming lessons, they both have the same message for parents of children in the Swim School – it’s all about water confidence. “I now have the confidence that I know I can swim long distances,” Ivan says. “And fast!” adds Anna.
Elena enjoyed the experience of bringing her kids to swimming lessons at AUT Millennium. “The teachers and coaches are very knowledgeable and professional, it has always been a pleasure dealing with them,” she says. “We were really impressed by the advanced techniques the kids learned at the higher levels – we were absolutely astonished when we first saw them doing butterfly!”
AUT Millennium Swim School runs morning and afternoon fitness squads for teens. Check out our website or chat to our friendly Swim School team about how our advanced swimming levels could benefit your child.