Families Who Swim Together Win Together

Being a family business, Sundance Pools director Ed grew up with swimming pools: watching dad Jeremy deliver them, scrubbing them out for pocket money on his school holidays, and swimming in them. In fact, the first ever Sundance Pool to be installed in the UK was at the West family home in Buckinghamshire.

A home swimming pool is perhaps the epitome of family leisure time, and a pool justifiably sits at the top of many a family wish list. Whether installed indoors or outdoors, the pool is a space to gather, to relax, to entertain, to reflect, and to play. There’s something about water that draws humans instinctively.

But the benefits of introducing your children to swimming run far deeper than fun and frolicking: swimming is the gift that keeps on giving.

Swimming is excellent all-round exercise: for athletes, for older people and even for animals. It’s also a fantastic sport for young people to get into. Apart from the health benefits we’ve explored in previous posts, swimming:

  1. Teaches young people the important safety skills to prevent drowning, which is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death among under-14s
  2. Is low-impact so causes few injuries… unlike most other sports!
  3. Helps prevent childhood obesity – an increasing health problem – and in turn can help prevent juvenile diabetes
  4. Requires controlled breathing that’s similar to the breath work done in meditation. A great break from revision or ritual before exams!
  5. Lifts the mood and helps us switch off. Being submerged in water helps to blur and quieten the amount of sensory information our minds and bodies are used to processing all day. So whilst exercise-induced endorphins alone are brilliant for zapping away at stress levels, water possesses its very own mood-boosting benefits.

Club swimming takes all of this several steps further, adding all manner of extra social and personal gains to the health benefits mentioned above. Since partnering with Thame Swimming Club we’ve had a real insight into the various benefits of competitive swimming for children and young adults. So we’ve spoken to the experts: the parents, committee members and coaches at Thame and this is what they have to say about club swimming.

FITNESS

“It goes without saying that teens who swim regularly with a swimming club will have much higher levels of cardio and strength fitness than most of their peers because it is such an excellent all round workout.”

SELF-ESTEEM

“Statistics in the newspapers earlier this year showed that a lack of physical activity among girls leads to poor mental health and low aspiration – and that boys between the ages of 8-15 spend almost twice as much time doing sport activities as girls of the same age. That alone for me makes it worth encouraging my daughter to continue with her swimming. I think that belonging to a club creates a fitness routine that can easily be carried through into adulthood.”

FRIENDSHIP

“Children in the swimming club create significant friendship bonds with one another; you will see swimmers cheering their friends on as they race and encouraging each other during training sessions and this is a real self-esteem boost as they go through their teens. Although swimming is usually an individual sport I think that swimming with a club creates a wonderful team environment.”

TEAMWORK

“Because they’re part of a team the children get early life lessons on how to win (and perhaps more importantly how to lose!) as a team, how to give their best for themselves as well as for others and above all how to show good sportsmanship.”

DETERMINATION

“The best reason to join a club is to swim faster. It’s not just about how fast or far you can swim, it’s also about making sure you can commit to training and being part of a strong team. These lessons will carry you forward in your life. A personal best is not just a faster time in a race it’s proof that hard work pays off – plus it makes your coach happy!”

Having a pool at home is a dream more and more families can reach, thanks to the vast diversification of the swimming pools market. One-piece pools offer lower running costs and fewer maintenance demands than traditional liner and concrete pools, and the range of sizes and specifications available today means there is something to suit virtually every home, need and budget.

Many thanks to Thame Swimming Club for helping with this article. Interested in finding out more about the club? Visit their website http://www.thameswimmingclub.co.uk/ their Facebook page, or email membership@thameswimmingclub.co.uk