The SwimSafer programme is a new national water safety programme in Singapore. It combines the National Survival Swimming Award (NASSA) and Learn-To-Swim-Programme (LTSP) into a comprehensive six-level curriculum. It is suitable only for children, five years and above. The programme has two stages, with three levels for each stage. In the beginning, children need to pass level 1 to 3, in which they are tested based on their basic skills. By level 3, young swimmers must be able to do basic front crawl and backstroke of up to 50 meters.
The next stage of the SwimSafer programmes involves the Bronze, Silver and Gold levels when children learn to swim gracefully. They are expected to learn and practice four different swimming styles – front crawl, backstroke, breaststroke and sidestroke. They are expected to learn survival backstroke as well. By the gold level, children should swim gracefully with any of the four swimming styles and be able to cover 400 meters of physical endurance and challenge.
It is a challenging programme and children takes at least six years to complete the whole programme if not longer. As children have different learning paces, it is possible for your child to take longer than six years to master all the necessary techniques.
Now, you would ask, “what can my child do after completing the SwimSafer programme?” If you are wondering what else your child can do after completing the programme, here are six competitive sports that your child can engage in after SwimSafer.
The obvious choice for your child after completing the SwimSafer programme is competitive swimming. If he or she is interested, then enrol your child for the Singapore Swimming Proficiency Award (SSPA). The SSPA is a national certification from the Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) that test children for their competency in swimming. Their timing for the SSPA is a start for their journey as a competitive swimmer. The SSPA tests advanced swimmers on a variety of skills and also challenge the timing for each swimming style.
After that, your child can join a competitive swim team and trains to be a competitive swimmer to represent Singapore. If everything goes well, your child could be the next Joseph Schooling!
Competitive Dragon Boat Racing
One of the oldest competitive sports in Singapore is dragon boat racing. It is not a sport for the faint-hearted, and each of these paddlers must be a swimmer to start with. If your child is a graduate of the SwimSafer programme, he or she can join any of the competitive dragon boat racing teams in Singapore. Start your search with the Singapore Dragon Boat Association (SDBA) to understand more about the sport and to sign up as a member. SDBA trains the Singapore National Team for Dragon Boat.
Competitive Water Polo
Water polo as a competitive sport has evolved over the years and come to represent diligence, dedication and perseverance. If your child is actively involved in sports and is good with swimming, he or she can consider water polo as a follow up to the SwimSafer programme. Start the search with the Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) and check out their water polo programmes for children. If your child is 13 years and older, he or she can join local try-outs hosted by the SSA to play the sport. Younger children between the age of six to twelve can join Flippa Ball, a modified version of water polo specially designed for younger children.
Competitive Synchronised Swimming
Synchronised swimming is also known as artistic swimming. It is an Olympic sport and is often referred to as “dance in the water”. Synchronised swimming requires advanced swimming skills, strength, endurance, flexibility, grace, artistry, precise timing and exceptional breath control underwater. It is not a sport for everyone, but if your child is keen to try out after completing his or her SwimSafer programme, start your search with the SSA. Training sessions for synchronised swimming are available, and you refer to this page for more information.
Diving is an art as much as it is a competitive sport. Divers are judged based on the approach, the take-off, elevation, execution and entry into the water, amongst others. It requires discipline and lots of hard work to become a competitive diver. If your child is keen to find out more about competitive diving after his or her SwimSafer programme, find out more from SSA and enrol him or her for a training class to try it out.
Surfing is a lesser-known competitive sport in Singapore as it is not an ideal location for surfing. Nonetheless, it is yet another option for your child if he or she is interested in the sport after the SwimSafer Programme. Check out the Surfing Association Singapore (SAS) as it is recognised as the National Governing Body for Surfing in Singapore by the International Surfing Association (ISA). The SAS defines surfing as shortboard, longboard and bodyboarding, StandUp Paddle (SUP) Racing and Surfing, bodysurfing, wakesurfing and all other types of wave riding activities.