May is Water Safety Month, and we are excited to share with you an interview we recently had with Tara and Gavin England, owners of the brand new Big Blue Swim School in Noblesville. Tara and Gavin are passionate about swim safety, and they shared with us all of their knowledge on how to keep your children safe during this summer and beyond.
Let’s meet the owners of Big Blue Swim School! We wanted to know more about their passion and reasoning behind the Big Blue Swim School.
Tara and Gavin England are Hamilton County parents who, in the past, have sought out swimming lessons for their own children. With hours of swim lessons under their belt, they still felt like their children weren’t great swimmers. They recently moved back to Indiana from California and decided to open Big Blue Swim School, located at Hamilton Town Center. It was important for them to start a business that positively impacted their community.
“We fell in love with the concept of teaching kiddos how to swim because not only is it a critical safety issue, it’s really a life skill,” says Tara. “There’s so much more that kids can get out of swim lessons than just being able to swim…” Not only is it confidence building, she says, but children stay active with swim lessons. They are excited to offer this new school to Indianapolis area families.
Gavin continues by saying that Big Blue Swim School is unique to other schools in the area. Not only are instructors teaching children how to stay afloat and how to swim back to the wall to climb out – which is important for pool swimming – at Big Blue, their curriculum goes beyond that to lake and ocean swimming. “If you are swept out to sea or in a lake, you’ve really got to be able to propel yourself back to the boat, the shore, something where you can get out of trouble and out of harm’s way.”
As we previously mentioned, May is Water Safety Month. If you had to choose, what are three of the most important water safety tips that families should keep in mind when they are around a body of water?
- Designate a water watcher and never swim alone. Whenever you are swimming with your family, or if you are having a pool party, designate one person to always have their eyes on the water at all times. They are responsible for monitoring the water with zero distractions. Communication between the adults is key. Also, always swim with a buddy. Even good swimmers can drown.
- Take swim lessons. Swim lessons cut the risk of drowning by 88% in children. Getting good quality swim lessons is critical.
- Reduce hazards around the water. Whether you have a pool in your backyard or you live near a lake or retention pond, don’t leave anything around that will attract your children’s attention to the water. Clean up all toys around your deck or backyard to eliminate any trip hazards or attraction.
We talked a little bit about the importance of kicking and propelling in the water. What is one thing students are taught if there is a water emergency?
Gavin says the most important thing they teach – from the second they get a baby in the pool all the way up to a big level where they’re teaching more individualized techniques – if there’s an emergency situation where a child falls in the water unexpectedly, they learn to get back to the wall immediately. When they get in the pool, whether they are a 12-month old baby that’s just now starting to learn their true motor skills, kicking in the water is the most important skill you can teach a child. “In our facility and our curriculum, propulsion is the most important aspect we can teach any kid at any level,” says Gavin.
Share more about the different levels of swim lessons you offer! Is there a specific age you recommend children begin swimming lessons?
In all of their lessons, Big Blue instructors explain, demonstrate, and mimic. All different types of learners can benefit from this way of teaching. They focus on advancement – getting kids swimming as quickly as they can. And all children are different swimmers and advance through the levels individually.
- Baby Blue Levels. Big Blue Swim School starts lessons early, as early as three months old, and the Baby Blue levels range from three months old to around three years old. Children learn how to get comfortable with the water, close their mouths, go front to back, and how to backfloat. Lessons are free to parents and caregivers for babies that are three to five months old!
- Bright Blue Levels. Around 3 years old, they move up a level and start doing independent classes. They are learning how to be even more comfortable in the water, but now they’re learning how to push off of and come back to the wall, and learning those essential kicking and propulsion skills.
- Bold Blue Levels. The Bold levels are for children five to six and older, depending on skill level. In the Bold Blue levels, swimmers really advance, and the three basic swim strokes are introduced.
- Big Blue Levels. The most advanced levels in Big Blue Swim School are the Big Blue levels, where older children can hone in on their individual swim techniques. Freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly strokes are all perfected. Most of the children in these levels are training for summer or school year club swim teams.
Where can parents learn more about Big Blue Swim School and how can they sign up their family? Share with us all the important information!
Not only are they conveniently located at Hamilton Town Center, but Tara and Gavin want to make scheduling as easy as possible for parents, too! Head to their website at bigblueswimschool.com to learn more information about their lessons and to sign your children up to swim.
Check out the full interview here:
About Big Blue Swim School
Big Blue Swim School’s goal is to encourage transformations in kids – to go from the development of swim skills (stroke, breath, movement) to the development of life skills (courage, perseverance, hard work). Every teacher strives to get every kid to have a BIG moment at every class.