Home Lifestyle This Clifton Swim School Teaches Water Safety to Babies Starting at 3 Months

This Clifton Swim School Teaches Water Safety to Babies Starting at 3 Months

by Ainsley Layland
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Swimming is a refreshing pastime during the warmer months but learning the essentials of water safety is more crucial than some might think. Unlike other sports, swim lessons are not just an activity, they are truly saving lives. The British Swim School, located at 199 Scoles Ave in Clifton, teaches students as young as three months old how to navigate emergency water situations. The nationwide franchise currently teaches 40,000 lessons each week on water safety and swimming. Keep reading to learn more about how the company got started and the exclusive offer for Montclair Girl readers.

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How It Got Started

More than 40 years ago, a former English national swimmer, Rita Goldberg, moved to Florida where she was surprised by the childhood drowning statistics in the state. The average swimming lesson didn’t begin until age five but most drowning victims were much younger. As a solution, she developed a method to teach children as young as three months old, how to fall into the water and turn over to float on their backs.

In an effort to teach this method to as many children as possible, she franchised her teaching method. This year, the British Swim School celebrated 40 years in business – having expanded to more than 215 schools across 23 states and Canadian provinces.

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A Steadfast Mission of Water Safety

Although the size of the business has increased dramatically since its inception, the mission has remained the same: to ensure that every person, regardless of age or ability, has the opportunity to become a safe swimmer. For this reason, survival and swim lessons are available to students as young as three months old. The program is also suited for students with special needs.

“Every child needs to know how to swim. Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death for children, and it’s totally preventable. If you start lessons now, your child can be water safe next summer, and you don’t have to worry anymore,” Robert Stapf of the British Swim School, told Montclair Girl.

“It’s unbelievably rewarding when we hear from a parent that their child was able to save themselves from what could have been a tragic water emergency because of the skills they learned through our program. It’s been fantastic to celebrate those wins and countless others throughout 2021.”

Orlando Enriquez, the Pool Manager, runs the day-to-day operations at the British Swim School in Clifton. The Tadpole class for students under three is one of the most popular classes. While singing, splashing, and playing during class is fun, it’s much more than songs and games. Behind all of the exciting activities, instructors are getting students comfortable and confident in the water while they learn about water safety 

Adult classes at the British Swim School are offered at three different levels: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. The Beginner class is the most popular and usually attended by adults who have had traumatic water experiences in the past. Instructors gently and patiently help students become comfortable in the water before moving on to floating and swimming techniques.website button

The British Swim School Difference

One of the main differences between the British Swim School and other swimming lessons is the focus on floating before swimming. 

“We teach floating before we teach swimming because knowing just strokes is not enough to be truly water-safe. It’s knowing how to float and not get tired that saves lives. In an emergency, exhaustion sets in very quickly, but if you know how to float, a swimmer can breathe, relax, and even call for help,” Robert said. 

 To make practice as realistic as possible students learn without floaties, and during Survival Week, they swim in street clothes. This helps the student better prepare for the reality of a water emergency.

British Swim School lessons are goal-oriented which keeps the students focused on making progress. Each level features five goals, once a student masters the goals, they graduate to the next level. Students progress at their own rate, independent of their classmates. Classes are held year-round rather than on a session-by-session basis. The consistency this allows is key to honing the safety skills taught in class. The student-to-teacher ratio for the beginner class is capped at four students per one teacher.

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The British Swim School is located at 199 Scoles Ave in Clifton. Call British Swim School at 201-676 3630 or email goswimhudsonnj@britishswimschool.com with questions.

Don’t forget to receive $30 OFF with promo code “MontclairGirl21” when you register before December 31st, 2021.

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