Our objective is for students to be confident, even if they are not great swimmers. We are not aiming to teach potential Olympic Swimmers.,but rather to give students enough ‘Water Confidence’ so that they are safe in a sailing dinghy.
It is a sad & surprising fact that only a small percentage of Antiguan children are taught to swim. The fear of the sea has been passed down through many generations – if the parents do not swim, they often do not teach their children.
Despite the fact that you are not more than 6 miles from water on Antigua, and that we have the most glorious weather and waters, professional swim instructors do not recommended that children should be taught in the sea – particularly on the south and east coasts where we have Atlantic swells, surf, drop offs and undertow – all terrifying to a small child. They need to be taught in a safe, controlled environment.
The Academy exists to teach sailing, but children must have confidence in the water before we can send them out in a boat. We do not have the space, or the funding, for a conventional swimming pool so we have now installed an ‘Endless Pool’ where you swim on the spot against a variable current. Professional instructors approve this type of pool for swim teaching.
Having gained their 'Water Confidence' in the pool, all the children are then happy to jump into 10ft deep water from our dock. Once they are confident to do this, they can progress to learning to sail. As part of the programme they will be learning, for example, how to right their boat from a capsize and so will be in deeper water than they can stand up in. Despite the fact that all students wear life jackets at all times, so could not sink, the can panic, hence our aim to build confidence. Once they have that, we can then begin sailing lessons
Not all children on this programme will progress to sailing but we do believe that all children should learn to swim - as a life skill, for safety reasons, and to enable them to explore the other opportunities that the ability to swim provides e.g. scuba diving, fishing etc.
These lessons are delivered by volunteers. Beginners classes are on Saturday mornings from 9.30am for children on the Saturday Sailing Programme or part of the School lessons for those who come with their school during term time. Lessons are free to all.
Adult swimming lessons are available from 1 pm on Sunday afternoons and are free.
To register for our swimming lessons please fill in our form.REGISTER HERE!