latest news

  • Community Swim

    Free swim lessons

    Community Swim

    81 deaths occur each year in New Zealand from drowning – most of which are avoidable. Of these, Pasifika children are most at risk. To prevent drownings, swimming is an essential skill, requiring many hours of learning and practice in the water.

    However, access to swimming instruction is not-uniform across Auckland South. Since the transfer of operational budgets directly to school boards and the introduction of stricter requirements for school pool testing and operations, many schools have exited from running their own pools and swimming programmes.

    Even though school groups are offered free access to pools especially for low socio-economic schools, the cost of arranging transport to a public pool is a significant barrier. In addition instructor costs to support teachers who are not confident in teaching swimming are also added barriers.

    The Community Swim Programme has been developed to address these issues by providing free learn to swim lessons including pool entry, transportation and instructors at no charge to teach school children the basic yet essential skills of swimming to be safe around the water.

    Community Swim Programme

    • Free learn to swim lessons for Year’s 3, 4, 5 and 6 students in Auckland South.

    • The programme has the capacity for 81 schools per year.

    • An estimated 22,000 children will participate in the Community Swim programme equating to approximately 162,000 swimming lessons annually.

    • Lessons include transportation to and from the school.

    • The lessons are held at Manurewa Aquatic Centre, Papatoetoe Centennial Pools, Otara Leisure Centre, Moana Nui A Kiwa Leisure Centre in Mangere, Lloyd Elsmore Park Leisure Centre, Pakuranga and are also available at schools with pools. The programme also runs a Portable Pool in 4 Mangere Schools.

    Programme Benefits

    • Early intervention programme in partnership with schools to build water confidence and swimming schools

    • Barrier free programme approach – with transport provided for schools

    • Programme aligned with Swimming NZ and Ministry of Education requirements

    • Early start to promoting aquatics as a physical activity

    • Partnership with WaterSafe Auckland in their delivery of Aquatic Education in Schools programme

    Find out more

    To find out more about Community Swim, please visit the Auckland Leisure website or contact

    Programme Manager
    Katherine Sugarman
    Mobile: 022 043 4910

    Schools interested in participating in the Community Swim programme can email katherine@swimgym.nz or community.swim@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.