With temperatures starting to rise, why not sign your kids up for some swimming classes where they can stay cool in the pool? Time Out Kids talks to Katy Little, Learn to Swim Manager at Hamilton Aquatics.
Tell us a little bit about your company, Hamilton Aquatics
Hamilton Aquatics are a specialist swimming academy providing swimming to people of all ages and abilities in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Doha. We currently provide services for over 5000 Learn to Swim and 800 Squad swimmers in over 25 locations, making us the largest and most successful swimming provider in the Middle East.
What classes do you offer children?
Learn to Swim:
We offer an extensive Learn to Swim programme that is based on a framework developed by the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA), England’s national governing body for swimming. The programme offers classes for complete beginner’s right through to advanced level swimmers.
At Hamilton Aquatics we also offer Adult and Child classes. These classes are a fantastic way to introduce young children to the water before joinging the Learn to Swim Programme when they reach three years. It is not only a great bonding experience between the adult and the child, but for the child it can help develop social skills, tactile senses, movement and motor skills, body awareness, language development and many more.
These classes are taught by specially trained teachers who receive on-going training to ensure they are delivering the most current and comprehensive Aqua Babies programme in the Middle East.
Strokes and Skills Clinics:
We offer strokes and skills clinics for children once they have reach Improver 2 level or above within our Learn to Swim programme. These clinics are designed in order to develop the children’s technique in butterfly and breaststroke or to gain more practice on skills such as diving and tumble turns.
We have identified that these are the skills and strokes that are harder to master for most children so by offering these classes, we are ensuring that each child is able to reach their full potential in swimming, with most of the children we teach progressing from the Learn to Swim Programme into our Squad Programme.
What age range do you cater for?
We offer swimming lessons for children from three months old and upwards.
How many coaches do you have?
We currently have 30 swimming teachers and 14 coaches working at Hamilton Aquatics in Dubai.
How can Hamilton Aquatics help a beginner swimmer?
We create the ideal environment for children to gain water confidence, develop their swimming technique and reach their potential. We believe in structured play during our swimming lessons, whereby our swimmers are taught specific skills and learning outcomes through the use of play. Hamilton Aquatics believe that this is the best way to help children develop water confidence and to overcome a fear of water by learning the Core Aquatic Skills that will in turn allow them to develop the techniques of all four strokes.
Our fully qualified teachers work within a structured programme and receive on-going training, to ensure that we are providing swimmers with the most comprehensive swimming development programme in the Middle East.
What are the best ways to help a child overcome a fear of water?
We pride ourselves on our Learn to Swim lessons being based around the use of structured play in order to help swimmers overcome a fear of water. The best way to help build water confidence is to make being in the water as fun as possible for a nervous beginner, so that in time, swimmers can progress onto learning the techniques for all four main strokes.
How often should a child attend a swim class?
Children should attend swimming lessons a minimum of once a week, but like anything though, the more a swimmer practises, it is likely that this will increase the rate of development.
What swimming techniques do kids’ learn?
Within our beginner stages, our classes are designed so that children learn the Core Aquatic Skills before they progress on to learning the technique for the strokes when they reach the Improver stages. With this strong foundation in the beginner stages, the swimmers pick up the stroke technique very quickly as they progress through our Learn to Swim stages.
When swimmers start learning the stroke techniques, they would start by learning the basic fundamentals for the stroke such as body position and legs. Once a swimmer is strong in these aspects, they would then progress onto the arms. Once a swimmer understands the arm movements, they would then learn the breathing and timing. These aspects would be perfected as the swimmer works through the stages before progressing in to the Squad Programme.
Water safety is a key part of our Learn to Swim programme and our goal is to ensure that each swimmer not only learns how to swim, but how to be safe around the water as well.
What are the benefits gained by learning to swim?
Swimming is a life skill which teaches children how to be safe around the water, it is great for building fitness and aiding weight loss. It also helps develop confidence and improves social skills.
What are the future plans for Hamilton Aquatics?
We want to continue to offer the high standard of swimming lessons that we currently offer to all our members. We’ll do this by ensuring our swimming teachers and coaches receive on-going training so that we are delivering the most innovative, exciting and comprehensive swimming programme in the Middle East.