Launch of Safe Swimming Program
The "Safe Swimming Program" that is created by Safe Water Sports and addresses children of 3 months old up to 12 years of age, was presented in collaboration with the Ministry of Sports, with the support of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, OAKA (Olympic Athletic Center of Athens ‘Spiros Louis’) and under the auspices of the Hellenic Swimming Federation and the Pan-Hellenic Coaches Association of Physical Education.
The Deputy Minister of Sports Mr. L. Avgenakis stated that: “We work together to cultivate the appropriate swimming conscience and education so that the program is included in schools’ swimming program and in all swimming clubs and associations in Greece next year.’’
The safe swimming program combines the acquisition of basic technical knowledge of a variety of swimming styles, the development of psycho-emotional elements in order to enjoy water through education that combines amusement & fun and at the same time the development of theoretical knowledge in order to raise children's awareness about their safety in the water. The Safe Swimming Program is designed in cooperation with an expert group consisting of researchers, swimming instructors, Olympic winner athletes and the Association of Lifeguard Schools of Greece.
At the presentation there was the President of Safe Water Sports, Panagiotis Paschalakis, the Deputy Minister of Sports, Lefteris Avgenakis, the General Secretary of Primary, Secondary Education and Special Education of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, the President of Hellenic Swimming Federation, Kyriakos Giannopoulos, the President of the Pan-Hellenic Coaches Association of Physical Education, Dimitris Grigoriadis and our emblematic Champions and Olympic winner athletes, Anna Doutounaki and Giannis Foundoulis.
L. Avgenakis stated that "at the Ministry of Sports we work systematically to prevent and ensure the health and safety of athletes and those related with water sports. For this reason, on February 2020 we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Safe Water Sports, with the aim of raising public awareness and enhancing safety in the to water, sea and the aquatic recreational activities. It is inconceivable to record fatal accidents every year. It is criminal to remain inactive, leaving young people, our next generation to be lost unjustly, when we have the means and the knowledge to prevent this kind of situations.We have a lot of work ahead, especially in cultivating a good swimming conscience and education. Let everyone embrace the program that is presented today: teachers, schools, agents, coaches, the whole athletic family. After all, sports is the best way to develop our social consciousness.
The General Secretary of Primary, Secondary Education and Special Education of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, Alexandros Kopsis pointed out: “The contact we have with the water is self-evident. It is the rules that make us safe in the aquatic environment. Such programs are supported by the Ministry of Education in cooperation with the Ministry of Sports’’.
The President of Safe Water Sports, Panagiotis - Michail Paschalakis, stated that: ‘’Swimming is an important skill for children and adults, which can contribute to our initial visio, that is zero fatal accidents in the aquatic environment. Teaching children, but also parents to swim, should be among the top priorities of every family, so that they can enjoy the water safely.
The "Safe Swimming Program" is a comprehensive program, presented for the first time in our country and we believe that it can significantly contribute to the improvement of swimming skills in Greece as well as to the reduction of drownings’’.
The President of the Hellenic Swimming Federation, Kyriakos Giannopoulos, underlined:
“In the Federation we feel the responsibility towards the society for strengthening the safety factor in swimming. Swimming is the best form of exercise for children, in an organized environment by people who can teach it properly.’’
The President of the Pan-Hellenic Coaches Association of Physical Education, Dimitris Grigoriadis stated: “It is an honor that our Association contributes to the program. We are impressed by its perfection, its scientific documentation and the way it approaches and teaches children. It is about an attractive and purely pedagogical program with rewarding motives.
The silver Olympian, leader of our National polo team, Giannis Foundoulis and our Champion, Anna Doutounaki explained the importance of the existance of such a program for children in order to be trained properly in the water by instructors who will have for the first time a manual.
There are four categories with three entities in the program:
-Orange Cap (baby swimming),
As soon as children reach the orange cap, they move on the next level, that is the purple cap. As soon as they finish each stage they will receive a diploma(certificate) that presents their knowledge and their skills.
Additionally the program contains theory regarding safety in the aquatic environemtn approved by the Institute of Educational Policy.
The presentatio was moderated by the well-known journalist, Antonis Katsaros.
You can watch the event here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pK9XKF8_uAs
Sponsors of the program: