From mid-February until the end of the 2016 school year, a unique charitable children’s swimming project called CHILDREN LOVE SWIMMING has been running in Slovakia, implemented under the auspices of the Consulate of the Principality of Monaco in the Slovak Republic. Children from primary schools were selected for the project – non-swimmers aged 7-12 years from socially deprived or disadvantaged families from the whole of Slovakia. The selection was also made on the basis of cooperation with the administration of the schools attended by the children.
One criterion for selecting the children, in addition to the will to learn to swim and actively engage in sports, was also excellent results at school and accomplishment of a task in which they were supposed to draw themselves as swimmers.
After meeting these requirements, the Honorary Consul of the Principality of Monaco in Slovakia, Ing. Miroslav Výboh, gave the children swimming gear and sportswear.
Training under professional guidance of the Slovak Swimming Federation
As the project director, PhDr. Katarina Brašeňová, says: “The main task of the project is to support “swimming literacy” and to teach the children proper swimming techniques that are crucial when swimming.” The teaching of the children will last seven full days under the professional guidance of coaches from the Slovak Swimming Federation in the Šamorín- Čilistov sports complex x-bionic® sphere. The project is intended to encourage in the children a positive attitude towards sports activities and through this, making new friendships. Discussions on the provision of first aid and healthy nutrition are also scheduled within the project,.
After the completion of the 7-day course, the children will return to their schools as swimmers who now possess rich sports knowledge. The Consulate of the Principality of Monaco in Slovakia will continue to support teaching children to swim and to organize professional swimming training in order to further develop and improve swimming activities.
The main sports ambassador of the project is Slovakia’s most successful swimmer, Martina Moravcová. She will award the four best boys and girls participation in the Martina Moravcová Summer Swimming camp,, which will take place in August 2016.
During the year, the project will also be supported by the Slovak World Champion in road cycling, Peter Sagan.
The opening ceremony and of the project, will be attended by the greatest Slovak swimming talent Richard Nagy, and also by other famous personalities from TV and the sports world, like the hockey player Lubomir Višňovský, the opera singer and actor Philip Tuma, and moderators Matej “Saifa” Cifra and Dagmar Dianová alias Didiana.
Swimming may be considered as one of the healthiest sporting activities, helping to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Many children lack sufficient knowledge and the skills which are very important for swimming safety. Slovakia is a country of four seasons with many natural pools and lakes which in summer are mostly frequented by families with small children. Statistics show that each year up to 150 people in Slovakia drown, and since 1986 children from different age groups have held first place in the number of persons drowned .
It is precisely these statistics which have given rise to the unique children’s charitable project, CHILDREN LOVE SWIMMING.