The instructors at Headstart Swim School in Claremont encourage domestic workers to take swimming skills seriously.

Janice Probyn, spokesperson of the school, says they have decided to give discounted lessons to domestic workers to reduce the high number of drownings.

She says the academy has discovered that many adults who cannot swim are scared of water and the academy’s first approach is helping its students gain confidence in water and make swimming enjoyable.

Probyn says swimming is a vital life skill as it does not just help to reduce drowning but also provides a healthy lifestyle.

She says: “We believe that learning to swim is a life skill that everyone should have the opportunity for but unfortunately there are far too many children and adults who do not get this opportunity and we all know that the drowning statistics in our communities are too high. We are therefore doing our bit to assist those who would not otherwise have this opportunity, providing qualified swimming instructors.”

She says they have started a programme called Headstart community development swimming which offers lessons at half price (R50 per lesson) specially for domestic workers and children.

One young beginner swimmer stands a chance of receiving the academy’s sponsorship. Members of the public are invited to nominate someone they want to see get swimming skills.

“If you know of any deserving learner email us at with their name, parents’ name and contact details and why you are recommending them.

“Swimming is a life skill and we are trying to help those who cannot afford lessons to learn to swim as well,” says Probyn.

Probyn says the academy has 350 students made up of both children and adults. Its lessons range from beginners to mini-squad to advanced stroke correction.

Amina Wepener, who takes her son to the academy, says: “My son has been going there for the past three years and he is enjoying the lessons. He likes diving the most.

“Swimming is a necessary skill. You can save lives with it. We thank the academy for the opportunity.”

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