YMCA received top national honours at a ceremony on Friday 27 April, taking home the Outstanding Swim School Award from the NZ Swim Coaches and Teachers Association.

With over 14,000 students per year across four Auckland sites, YMCA received the award in the 3001+ students category.

YMCA quality services manager Karla McCaughan says the award is great recognition for the not-for-profit organisation’s tireless work to arm Kiwis with vital water safety skills for life and help address the country’s shocking drowning statistics.

“We’re an island nation that loves to play in the water, so developing swimming and water safety skill should be a crucial part of growing up in New Zealand.” McCaughan says.

YMCA offers swimming and water safety lessons for all ages, from babies through to adults. Over the past 12 months, the organisation has also offered half price lessons to Auckland Plunket clients, and free water safety lessons across the city, in an effort to teach as many babies and toddlers as possible vital drowning prevention skills.

“Tragically seven children under 4 drowned last year, so a big part of our work is improving access to swimming and water safety lessons to help Kiwi kids develop what could one day be life saving skills.”

YMCA also places a high emphasis on quality, and requires all teachers to hold an industry recognised qualification from Swimming New Zealand or AUSTSWIM.

“All of our teachers are highly trained, and we have clear and consistent programmes that help progress our students’ skills from floating and submergence, all the way through to breathing and swim strokes,” Karla says.

The 2018 Outstanding Swim School Award follows on from two industry accolades last year – the 2017 Quality Swim Schools Award from Swimming New Zealand, and the 2017 AUSTSWIM Aotearoa Teacher of Infant and Preschool Aquatics Award that went to YMCA teacher Liam Blain-Caunce.

YMCA Swim School operates from four locations in Auckland:

Term 2 classes started 30 April and run for 10 weeks, but new enrolments can still be made over the next fortnight. Visit the YMCA website to find out more.