Swimsafe with the ASA and RNLI at Shore Road


I am a firm believer that all children should learn to swim and as we live by the coast it is especially important for mine to understand the differences of swimming in open water to that of a swimming pool.

Whether by the sea, river or lake, the skills involved in keeping safe in open water are different to those in an indoor pool, where most swimming lessons take place.

The ASA and the RNLI run the Swim Safe programme of improver swimming tuition and water safety sessions for all 7–14 year olds at beaches and lakes across England that is FREE to attend and this week Isaac had a session at Shore Road in Sandbanks.

When we arrived he had a little wobble and didn’t want to do it, so we sat to one side and watched as the group he was booked on to did their session. Thankfully the kids that were all doing it looked like they were having a blast so Isaac decided that he was happy to do the next session as long as he met his swimming teacher first.

Sandbanks Beach

The first thing the kids had to do was getting kitted out in wetsuits, a bright green rash vest and either a red or a green swimming hat. Once they were ready they got to meet their swimming teachers, had a Q & A session about beach safety, including what the flags mean and then were split into two teams – the red hats and the yellows.

The Red Hats went to meet the Life Guards first at their tower whilst Isaac and the Yellow Hats did some warm up before doing to group exercises on the sand, learning swimming strokes to use in the sea.


The groups then swapped over with the Yellow Hats meeting the Lifeguards for some more beach safety advice and the Red Hats all warming up before coming together to go in the sea.

There were plenty of swimming teachers on hand to assist the children and three of them headed into the sea, forming a triangle that the kids had to swim to, before breaking off and continuing in smaller groups.


Isaac had another little wobble as the sea was cold but his teacher was really encouraging and he was soon in the water having fun. I was quite surprised by how far they took the kids out too, but they all had woggles for a bit of extra support in the water.


To take part in a Swimsafe session children must be able to swim a minimum of 25 metres to take part as they spend a good half an hour in the sea and Isaac was proud as punch of his achievement when he emerged from the water after his session.

After getting changed each child was rewarded with a goody bag containing a swimsafe t-shirt, swimming badge, key ring and a swim hat.

Swimsafe with the ASA and RNLI at Shore Road

I would highly recommend the swimsafe course and as soon as Eliza is old enough to take part I will be booking her on too!

Have you attended a swimsafe course – what did you think?


23 thoughts on “Swimsafe with the ASA and RNLI at Shore Road

  1. That’s a great idea! We live near a few beaches and although neither of my kids have been swimming in the sea yet I’ve already been drilling them about only ever doing it between the lifeguards flags.
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  2. Deby says:

    It is my friend and Zacks swim teacher who has been a big part of the national swim safe journey writing it etc. This was Zacks 3rd year of doing it he loves it. Anyone who lives by the sea, visits the sea with the children I think this is a must and its FREE, there really is no excuse not to spare the hour for your children to do this. Glad Isaac enjoyed it. The instructors (for Bmth/poole area) are all qualified ASA swim instructors and I know that quite a few have also been doing voluntary lifeguarding, teaching, competing etc on our beaches for over 25 years!!!

  3. Brilliant idea!!! We want to do this in our home town when Evie is older. I think it’s something all children should learn. There are so many accidents in the sea everyday where I live, it’s definitely life skills that need to be known. x

  4. I think that’s such a fantastic idea and great that you can do it living near to the coast. Such valuable life skills too xx
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  5. No I haven’t but I think it is a fab idea. My kids are currently learning how to swim and it has been an interesting experience.

  6. Such a great idea. Mine are about to start swimming lessons next week but this would be even better!
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  7. It is so important. I was very reassured by the RNLI lifeguards on the beach in Cornwall as there was a nasty rip current, which I really felt because of my knee.

  8. This sounds like a great course. Mine are to old for this now but I would mention it to friends with younger children 🙂
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  9. Natalia says:

    This is a lovely activity! I also think children need to learn how to swim when they are little, specially because I think it’s harder to learn when they are grown up! x

  10. Louise says:

    I love this. Water safety is so important. I had real problems with my eldest and had to fight other family members who suggested I should give up because he didn’t like it. Swimming is a life skill not just for fun x
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  11. Louise says:

    This sounds great to learn to swim in the sea – it is such a valuable life skill. My two love the water and swimming out in the sea when we are on holiday but I wish we could do it more often. x
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  12. Anosa says:

    How lovely that it is free, something every parent can take their kids to where possible. I can’t swim, I wish I could but the fear of drowning is too overwhelming to start learning.
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  13. What an incredible initiative. My son attends swimming lessons once a week at our local sport centre. Wish we lived on the coast though!

  14. Penny says:

    I think this is a brilliant initiative and all kids, regardless where they live should get some lessons in open water. We are near the river and it always worries me.
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  15. Erica Price says:

    This sounds like a great session – I’d love my son to do something practical like this in open water rather than just the pool.
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  16. What a great scheme! We need to start taking Marianna to the pool, but I’m just really reluctant until she’s out of nappies… x
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  17. Jo Wiggins says:

    What a great idea – I never knew classes like this existed x

  18. Nikki Thomas says:

    My kids are all good swimmers but swimming in the sea is so different to a swimming pool, so this is such a great idea as kids might think they are confident and then get into trouble in the sea. I would definitely do this if I lived near one.
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  19. Joanna says:

    I think this is such a good idea my son has swimming lessons but this ideal for those living near the sea. i think its important for kids to know the differences from swimming in a pool and the sea.
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  20. Cathy Glynn says:

    What a marvellous idea especially as it is so different than swimming in a pool x
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  21. Jen Walshaw says:

    I really need to book my boys on one as we live my the sea like you. I did something similar when I was their age.
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  22. You are absolutely right about knowing the difference between swimming in a pool and open water! T goes to swim class, but would love for her to do a swim-safe course too. I wonder if they have anything like that here in North Cornwall. Off to check 😉
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  23. Emma Raphael says:

    It really is such an important life skill. We tend to learn quite young in the UK, whilst in Denmark and Germany, they don’t tend to learn properly until they are 10/11, which I find quite strange considering the proximity to the sea and lakes etc! Love the pics, your guys look very proud of their achievements! 🙂
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