Passionate about swimming and the water? There are plenty of sports or groups you can get involved in if you love the water.

Become a Recreation and Sport Centre member

Girl in water smiling and giving the thumbs upSwimming pools, beaches, rivers and lakes are not necessarily the only places drowning can occur. For a toddler a bath at home, the toilet, a paddling pool out on the lawn or bucket of water to wash the car can put your child at risk.

Drowning is more likely to occur when a child is out of reach or sight of a parent or caregiver, therefore constant supervision is the only real way of ensuring a child’s safety.

Simple at home safety measures can save lives.

Be prepared with our safety tips

  • Always empty paddling pools and water containers immediately after use and store away.
  • Set rules for safe play in or near the water with your child, for example “Never go near the water unless you are with a grown-up”.
  • Always have children within arm’s reach in and around a swimming pool.
  • Don’t always rely on “floatation” devices to keep your child safe, stay close to them at all times.
  • Ensure all pools and spas are fenced and meet the requirements’ of the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987(external link).
  • Keep doors to the laundry, toilet and bathroom closed at all times.
  • Being prepared. Learning CPR is a great way to ensure you have the skills to deal with an emergency.

Water Safety New Zealand(external link) has online resources and tips that can help educate parents and caregivers on water safety in the home and at pools, lakes, beaches or rivers.

child having fun in an indoor poolThe earlier a child is introduced to water the more likely they are of becoming water confident. Introduce your child to water in the familiar surroundings of their own home or local pool.

Supervision of your child is critical at all times when water is involved.

Bath time

With a sponge or cup gently trickle water over your child’s head and body. Help get them ready for the pouring water by using a cue phrase. One example is “child’s name, 1, 2, 3, go”. This helps a child to become more familiar with water.

Singing songs

Songs can be adapted to fit any water movement. 'The wheels on the bus' arms going around, the wipers swish back and forward, the horn goes beep beep as we splash the water. Use a song your child knows and your imagination!

Outside fun

Paddling pools and buckets provide lots of fun.  Pouring, splashing, blowing bubbles and floating activities are popular. Use the garden hose to create rain and let the children run in and out. Create a fun and safe experience with water.

The local pool

Christchurch City Council has five facilities that have multi use pools. They are designed for children to experience water in a fun and safe way.

A great way to start is to attend a Bubbletimes or Sleepytimes class. These are on a casual basis and will help build your preschooler's water confidence.

swimmer under the waterPassionate about swimming and the water? There are plenty of sports or groups you can get involved in if you love the water. 

Remember safety is the most important thing. Check the conditions, weather forecast, tides and always swim with others.

Open water swimming

You don’t have to be in open water to train for open water, make the most of the indoor pool to train for open water swimming.  When swimming long distances it helps to have a good freestyle so make sure you get your technique right. Practice starting your swim from treading water as there are no walls to hold on to or kick off from. 

Swimsmart Silver Extension Squads

These are 60 minute sessions where participants work on increasing stamina over a longer distance while working on improving technique. This is a non-competitive group that encourages you to push yourself to improve personal best times. Speak to our friendly customer experience team at any of our five centres to find out more.

Swim clubs

Clubs give you the opportunity to compete at local, national and international level.  The team environment within clubs provides great support - encouraging swimmers to do their best while still having fun.

Water polo

A great team sport, and one that requires players to swim the majority of the time, even if just treading water. Strong swimming skills and good stamina will be valuable for water polo players. A lot of Intermediate and Secondary schools have teams, so get in there and give it a go!

Multi-visit card

Regular swimming will keep you fit and continue to improve your technique. Multi-visit cards and support with your swimming programme is available at Graham CondonJellie ParkPioneer, Taiora QEII(external link) or Te Pou Toetoe: Linwood Pool(external link). Speak to our friendly customer experience team at your local centre today.

kids sitting by pool

Kiwi summers are spent at the beach, but the beach can be dangerous. Getting involved in Surf Life Saving is the best way of getting to know the risks so you and your family can enjoy the sun, sea and surf safely.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLNZ) have been educating kiwis about water safety since 1910 - that’s over 100 years.

SLNZ offer a junior surf program starting from the age of seven, these are based at your local club and consist of five levels.

Check out the SLNZ map(external link) of  local clubs for Christchurch.

The skills learned in the Swimsmart classes at your local Recreation and Sport Centre pool tie in well with Surf Life Saving and can help your child to survive in the water. 

Check out link) today and find your local club, and Learn to swim (external link)to find out more about the Swimsmart programme.

Adult swimming lessons

You are never too old to learn to swim or to develop your existing swimming skills.

Not all adults learn to swim as a child and some may have base skills that haven't been used for a long time. Swimming is a great skill and activity for people of all ages, it is never to late to learn or to get back into it.

Recreation and Sport Centres offer adult classes that suit all levels - ranging from basic swimming introduction skills to endurance technique development.

Adult beginner

This class is perfect for adults new to swimming. Our patient and experienced teachers will help you overcome any obstacles you may have, to help you to become a competent swimmer.

Adult breathers

A mid-level class designed for improvement of swimming skills including stroke and breathing. We will teach you the technical components of swimming helping you to become more confident and strong in the water.

Adult stroke correction

A technical level class designed to work on a variety of stroke techniques so you can swim more efficiently. Being efficient allows you to increase your swim distance comfortably.

Extension squad

A high level class building on skills learnt previously, the extension squad offers swimmers the chance to increase distance and stamina.

Whatever your level of ability, working on your skills will give you a whole new level of confidence.

Swimsmart adult lessons information and bookings

Aqua fitness is a highly effective total body workout with the benefit of being low impact.

Christchurch Recreation and Sport Centres offer a number of different Aqua fitness classes to suit all ages and levels of ability.

Five benefits of an Aqua fitness workout

  1. Helps relieve stress due to the soothing nature of being in water.
  2. Improved flexibility through increased range of motion in the water.
  3. Low-impact exercise which gives your joints a break from traditional high impact workouts.
  4. Increased overall strength and endurance through the natural resistance water places on the body.
  5. Aqua Fitness is great workout for any age group or skill level, it's also a great workout to enjoy with friends and family.

Try a class today at your local Recreation and Sport Centre.