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Why provide opportunities for aquatic education?

Water is a dominant feature of the New Zealand landscape, and many New Zealanders spend much of their recreational time in, on, or by water.

Children of all ages have a natural fascination with water. To observe pre-schoolers engaged in water play is to become convinced of their sheer joy as they experiment with its properties. During the school years, this same level of enjoyment should permeate their experiences as they learn to move their bodies with efficiency and safety in a pleasurable environment.

Water Safety New Zealand statistics show that 58 percent of drownings occur when there is no intention of entering the water. Swimming and survival skills are therefore an important part of our Health and Physical Education curriculum. 

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of drowning in the developed world. Drowning is the third highest cause of accidental death in New Zealand.

Young students rapidly become confident with water. Trust is an essential element in this. Soundly based and well-planned aquatic education provides the most effective, efficient, and sustainable contribution to safety in the aquatic environment.