Learn to Swim Wales is a progressive seamless pathway beginning with a baby’s first experience in the water through to competent swimmers who are fully equipped to enjoy aquatic activities for life and resulting in a healthier nation.


Wave

Waves 1 to 7 are the main ‘Learn to Swim’ area. Children from approximately age 4/5 (dependent on the provider) are taught the necessary swimming and aquatic skills to swim and to take part in other aquatic activities such as Rookie Lifesaving, Artistic Swimming, Diving Competitive Swimming and Water Polo. They are also taught vital skills of water competence where they learn how to be safe in and around water, such as swimming in clothes, treading water and swimming with no goggles. Wave 8 is multi aquatic and can either be a taster for participation in one of the aquatic sports or where a participant can remain to stay aquatically active.

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There are lots of awards to earn in this area including one for each wave as well as distance badges, how many can your child collect on their swimming journey? 


Water Competence

Swimming and skills of water competence are ‘the sum of all personal aquatic movements that help prevent drowning as well as the associated water safety knowledge, attitudes, values, judgement and behaviours that facilitate safety in, on and around the water.’ (Moran, 2013).

Swim Wales and supporting stakeholders have adopted the concept of ‘water competence’ as a paradigm shift in how swimming and drowning prevention is viewed.

The Water Competence Cymru Awards are:

Water Competence Cymru – Award 1
During this Award participants will learn basic water safety awareness and survival techniques such as floating, treading water and submerging and resurfacing, without goggles.

Water Competence Cymru – Award 2
This Award includes swimming in clothes, the key water safety messages from RNLI and RLSS, and essential personal survival techniques such as the Heat Escape Lessening Position (HELP).

Water Competence Cymru – Award 3
On completing this third and final Water Safety Award participants will fully understand how to perform safe self-rescue in different open and pool-based water situations, and what to do if they fall into water unexpectedly.

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Distance

The Learn to Swim Wales Swimming Distance Awards are designed to complement Waves 1-8 and Advanced Swimming Levels 1-5 of the Learn to Swim Wales Framework.

They are a range of bright bilingual certificates and badges to help keep the participant motivated while working through the individual Learn to Swim waves.

The LTSW Distance Awards are intended for swimmers from four years and older and are designed to demonstrate the participant’s ability to swim confidently from one point to another without hesitation, pause or stress. They are a great way to give swimmers the incentive to develop their swimming abilities and stamina by gradually increasing the distance they can swim and rewarding progress between achieving the Wave awards.

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The LTSW Distance Awards are intended for swimmers from four years and older and are designed to demonstrate the participant’s ability to swim confidently from one point to another without hesitation, pause or stress. They are a great way to give swimmers the incentive to develop their swimming abilities and stamina by gradually increasing the distance they can swim and rewarding progress between achieving the Wave awards.


Skills

This section of the pathway breaks into the various aquatic disciplines of swimming, water polo, diving, synchronised swimming and lifesaving. Skills taught in the Waves are progressed and developed with specific emphasis on being discipline specific. These classes can either be delivered in a Learn to Swim programme or at the introductory section of clubs.

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A certificate is available for successfully completing each level.