DLRG warns that many children cannot swim. The demand for the course among the Leonberger Wasserfreunde is huge.
This summer, the coveted trophy for kids was the Sea Horse. Proof that former non-swimmers can now swim 25 meters in water without stopping or catching on the edge of the pool. That they also manage to draw a ring of water shoulder deep. And that they can boldly jump into the water. President of the German Life Saving Society (DLRG) Ute Vogt sounded the alarm at the beginning of the summer. “We figure we have almost two school years who can’t swim.” The coronavirus pandemic and the failure of swimming lessons. aggravated the situation. A sad event in the region was the death of a six-year-old child who was pulled unconscious from the water at the Holzgerlingen outdoor pool and later died of his injuries.
Seahorse or Badge Swimming
At the beginning of the summer there was a great sigh of relief among the members of the DLRG or swimming clubs like the Leonberger Wasserfreunde. Finally they were allowed to give swimming lessons again. In cooperation with the city of Leonberg, the water friends offered different courses during the six and a half week summer holidays in Leobad: participants could choose between a seahorse, swimming badge or “fun and games”.
Trainers and managers had absolutely no reason to complain about the lack of participation. “Once registration was activated, places were allocated within two hours,” says Vivienne Horn, head of youth at Wasserfreunde, who coordinated the festive offer in Leobad. “In total, we had more than 300 children,” says the 23-year-old girl, who herself swam in the performance group, and now maintains her fitness with the so-called masters, seniors.
Many requests from water lovers
Water lovers offered up to three parallel courses, each with ten to twelve children. “We always had one person over the age of 18 with a coach’s license in each group as a supervisor, as well as two or three assistants.” About a hundred kids wanted to try seahorses, eventually 80 percent made it. “We also have a lot of requests for our club swim offerings, many want to learn the technique now, of course we’re happy about that, but unfortunately we can’t take that many as our water capacity is limited.” says Vivian Horne. There is no longer a waiting list. “Besides, the groups should not be too big, because we have a big responsibility for the children. They have a dedicated team, training opportunities and an “attractive hourly rate” to offer.
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