On August 6, 2016 I was inducted into the Australian Swim Schools Association Hall of Fame. What an honour to have this award. The award was in recognition of the Early-years Swim Project in which I lead a large national (and international) study on the potential benefits for under 5s who participate in swimming lessons. I was initially approached by Laurie Lawrence to lead a project that would explore whether or not young children gained more than just swimming skills through participation in swimming. There was a general feeling/observation in the swim industry that children who participated in swimming seemed to be ‘brighter, friendlier, more confident, more articulate” that children who did not participate in swimming. This was the catalyst for the research.
Over a period of five years, we negotiated and undertook the first major and comprehensive study of children who participated in swimming to see if they were as the industry people had observed. The results have been staggering and have been well-received by the industry and the community at large. This blog (and website) will share these results. As a result of the impact of the research on the industry and those who are allied with the swim industry, the Hall of Fame award was presented in the area of science.