No public swimming pool in the neighborhood? Not a problem, at least in Bremen. Since May 2019, the mobile swimming school has been coming to the children. For this to work, the help of many industrious helpers and qualified personnel is needed. Daimler ProCent is supporting the "Swim with us" project of the Bremen Community Foundation with EUR 5,000 for purchases of pool and swimming equipment for the coaches and budding young swimmers of tomorrow.
The numbers of fatal bathing accidents have been on the rise for years. For years, the DLRG e.V. association and other swimming sports associations have been warning about the increasingly declining swimming skills of children and young people. Experts see one reason for this in the fact that growing numbers of public swimming pools have to close. Between the years 2000 and 2018 alone, 1,400 of the original 7,800 public baths were closed. The condition of the remaining public baths leaves a lot to be desired in many cases.
The "Swim with us" project is to provide help at least for Bremen. That is why in 2019 the Bremen Community Foundation initiated the collaboration for the mobile swimming school with the Bremen State Swimming Association, the DLRG Bremen State Association, the Bremen State Sports Association, and the State Association for Evangelical Daycare Facilities.
The water comes to the children
The benefits are obvious. The mobile pool comes to the children equipped with a protective tent. This eliminates the long distances and long waiting times for a suitable swimming course. The pool itself is built in a meadow, a schoolyard or sports field. The mobile swimming pool is accompanied by qualified swimming instructors who get the children used to the water slowly and make it a lot of fun. This is exactly where the "Swim with us" project comes in. The kindergarten St. Georg in Bremen-Huchting is the pilot kindergarten and, if the organizers have their way, many more are still to follow.
At a water depth of 95 cm, the small children move freely in the water and gradually become familiar with the water, slowly and playfully. The pedagogically trained DLRG swimming instructors confirm that the participating children feel safe in the water, which has a temperature of 27°C. In this way, children can overcome their fears. This includes splashing water in their faces or even having them submerge their heads now and then, and takes away the fear of water.
Once they start having fun, the kids learn their first swimming movements effortlessly - perseverance is everything. The "Swim with us" project provides support for families who can't afford to attend a swimming course with their children for lack of time or money.
One Project - Several Aids
The organizers are pursuing the ambitious goal that every child in Bremen should learn to swim. The project starts at pre-school age, but older children and teenagers can also be supported through the "Swim with us" project, regardless of their parents' or guardians' financial situation, for example with the initiative "My Swimming Bag". Equipped with a large towel, swim trunks/swimsuit and shower gel, the children take part in the swimming course as a matter of course.
In addition, "Swim with us" also offers swimming courses that are aimed specifically at older children and teenagers aged 10-18 years, who have no previous experience or have had negative experiences with water.