With more sunny days than any other capital city in Australia (and in the world), it should come as no surprise that swimming has been a huge part of life in Perth since the 1880s when the first public baths were built the capital of Western Australia (WA).

The Western Australia Amateur Swimming Association was established in Perth in 1902, playing a key role in the development of the sport throughout WA. Now known as Swimming WA, the association continues to actively work to increase participation in swimming, regulating swimming lessons in Perth and producing lifelong swimmers and champions such as Eamon Sullivan,  Evelyn de Lacy and Percy Oliver.

Despite various hindrances, such as lack of funding and the sheer distance between Perth and the main competition venues, commitment from dedicated volunteers over the years has repeatedly paid off with Western Australia seen as a world leader in open water swimming and developing pathways between swimming lessons and competition.

With such an amazing track record, if you live in Perth you are well placed to have access to some of the best swim schools and ongoing support to improve your swimming skills to be able to take advantage of the many water-based activities Perth has to offer.

Where can you learn to swim in Perth?
Western Australia and particularly its capital, Perth, has a long history of swimming and other water sports | Source: Pixabay - Bernd Hildebrandt
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A Brief History of Swim Squads and Swimming Lessons in Perth

You don't have to travel far in Perth to find a venue that hosts a swim squad or learn to swim classes.

Swim Squads

In 1923, the City of Perth Swimming Club was formed with the goal of providing a full range of services and activities for swimmers of all levels — from learn to swim through to competitive squad programs — in a fun, friendly and supportive environment.

Crawley Baths, a public swimming pool that opened in 1914 and was the largest enclosed body of water in the Southern Hemisphere, was the venue for the Swimming Club for 50 years before its eventual closure after the opening of the Beatty Park Leisure Centre (purpose-built for the 1962 Commonwealth Games).

The City of Perth Swimming Club eventually merged with the Lawley Aquatic Swimming Club and is now housed at a new venue at Perth College but also continues to use the Beatty Park Leisure Centre for some of its training events. With the merger came a name change, with the club being known as Perth City since 2012.

A subcommittee of the club, Perth College Swim Academy, took over running the swimming lessons (and also has a swim instructor program for college students), while the club itself focuses primarily on two types of squad training — competitive and fitness. Children as young as 8 years of age can apply to be in a competitive squad, with no upper age limit. Fitness squads are for teenage students and adults only.

Swimming Lessons

As more public swimming pools opened, and awareness grew about the importance of swimming lessons in Perth, learn to swim classes became increasingly popular, not only in Perth but throughout Australia.

David Urry, the man behind State Swim, which has long-standing swim school venues in Perth, as well as Adelaide and Melbourne, began promoting his philosophy behind swimming lessons for kids over 4 decades ago. 

This philosophy — that lessons have to involve a combination of attained skills revision and the steady introduction of new swimming skills to keep children and adolescent students motivated and engaged — is still as strong today as when it was first employed.

Where Can I Find Lessons for Adults Through to Swimming Classes for Kids Near Me?

Swimming WA emphasises the importance of 'accessible swimming for all', so you will find that many of the swim school classes and private swimming lessons in Perth have a greater number of inclusive options than in other states of Australia.

Where are the best swimming lessons for kids in Perth?
Confidence and water safety skills are essential for kids | Source: Pixabay - Pexels

Beatty Park Leisure Centre

This swim school boasts one of the largest learn to swim programs in Western Australia, catering for swimmers from the age of 4 months to 104 years (well, adults of any age). Their program categories include:

  • Parent and Baby
  • Under 5s
  • Over 5s
  • Private 1 to 1 (all ages and levels)
  • Angelfish (inclusive and integrated program for people with a disability)
  • Adult
  • Swim and Survive Bronze Standard
  • Private Special Needs (1 to 1 lessons for students with a disability)

Kirby Swim

Kirby Swim was created by Bill Kirby, Sydney Olympics gold medallist. The philosophy behind the lessons at this swim school is skills development using the correct technique to develop a safer and more powerful stroke. The underlying belief is that swimmers learn best in a positive and friendly environment, where learning is a fun experience for everyone from the instructor to the students.

Kirby Swim School lessons cater for:

  • babies from 6 weeks of age
  • kids from 3 years old to mid-teen
  • adults at all levels

They also have specialised programs for children on the autism spectrum, private classes for swimmers of all abilities and advanced squad options.

Waterwise

The core goal of the Waterwise learn to swim program is the prevention of drowning. They recognised that many people in the region were avoiding swimming lessons because of the cost, so they aim to provide effective learn to swim programs and stroke development classes that are affordable for all.

Waterwise lessons start with water familiarisation classes for newborns at 6 weeks of age, right through to adults who require stroke development or other specialty training. The Waterwise team specialise in programs for the 'differently-abled', all of which are private swimming lessons in a Perth location, personalised to suit the needs of individual students.

Just Add Water Swimming

This group, which services the Perth region, offer private mobile swimming lessons for students who have their own backyard pool. Learning to swim in your own pool, especially for young children, is crucial because it focuses on water safety skills tailored to their immediate environment.

Lessons are available for all ages and activities are tailored to individual needs from water familiarisation and confidence, stroke development, advanced skills and general fitness.

You will find that most regions, such as Canberra, Brisbane and Sydney, also have swim schools that specialise in mobile lessons.

Each swim school listed above can be found in numerous locations in and around Perth, however, if you are outside Perth, elsewhere in Western Australia, simply do a search for 'swimming classes for kids near me' to find your best options.

Are There Swim Schools for Adults?

There are a surprising number of adults in Australia who don't know how to swim, or know how to swim but not well enough to maintain their own safety or that of their kids.

Are there swimming lessons for adults in Perth?
Oceans are unpredictable so ensuring your safety is paramount - brushing up on your swimming skills is essential | Source: Pixabay - Pixaline

Many adults in Australia harbour a deeply ingrained fear of water — most often from a negative experience as a child, or a learned reaction from other adults who were also nervous around water. In the past, any adult who didn't know how to swim was left with nowhere to turn or had to employ a private swim instructor (often at considerable cost).

This is no longer the case.

These days, there is a greater awareness of the need for adult learn to swim programs, in addition to stroke correction lessons and classes for adults who can swim but want to develop their fitness, strength or overall skills.

For adults,  you can find private swimming lessons in Perth, as well as small group classes and programs if you prefer more of a team environment, at numerous locations with most swim schools catering for all ages and abilities.

The important thing, as an adult, is to find an aquatic centre or lesson venue where you feel comfortable, particularly if you have a fear of the water. The importance of a supportive and friendly environment cannot be stressed highly enough. Recommendations include:

  • Kirby Swim (listed above) offer private, small group and squad programs designed for adults who want to improve their fundamental skills, stroke or fitness levels
  • HBF Stadium Swim School provide one-on-one private lesson programs for beginners, as well as adult swim fitness class programs and group squad lessons
  • The Swim School WA specialise in private swimming lessons in Perth, with a focus on adults who need the very basic skills of floating, treading water and basic stroke patterns. They also tailor their private lessons for adult swimmers who want to increase their fitness or train for a specific event.

So, baby, kid or adult — to safely experience all of the water fun Australia has on offer, learning to swim is a must.

Whether you're in Perth or elsewhere in Australia, get out there now and get swimming with a qualified and trained instructor. It's fun and it could well save your life.

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Kellie

Kellie is an editor, a children's writer, blogger and a teacher. Any remaining time she has is spent on a dragon boat.