Helmut wants the "safe swimmer" campaign, organized by the bavarian ministry of health, the german lifesaving society (DLRG) and the health insurance company AOK bavaria, the event has met with a resounding response in ebern. Bavaria, with its many lakes and rivers, is the state with the highest number of drowning traps. Bavaria accounts for one-fifth of all traps nationwide. So the organizers want to take their initiative further.
The elementary school in ebern and maroldsweisach and the forderschule in ebern, which has been participating in the project as a preserved action school since the beginning of the school year, are now benefiting from the campaign for the sixth time.
On thursday, the action took place in the outdoor pool at losberg in ebern, germany. The DLRG local association of ebern was busy with its second chairwoman nicole fehn, klaus bayersdorfer and klaus hanke playing and exercising in the water with elementary school children.
Special swimming lessons
Around 400 children from the ebern area have taken part in the project this school year: classes one to four of the elementary schools in ebern, rentweinsdorf, maroldsweisach and the forderschule ebern under the direction of klaus hanke and klaus bayersdorfer.
Special swimming lessons are held at the participating schools. "Specially trained DLRG swim coaches support teachers in swimming lessons", says klaus bayersdorfer, DLRG swim coach at the elementary school. The children learn to swim faster and more sustainably thanks to individual attention.
"Knowing how to swim saves lives and keeps you healthy", explains franziska markert from the AOK in schweinfurt. The children trained their agility and coordination skills. Swimming is one of the healthiest sports because it exercises the entire body and activates the cardiovascular system. The ability to swim helps prevent common diseases. Markert stresses that her company has a vested interest in children being able to swim, and handed out swim bags.
Mayor jurgen hennemann came to encourage the schoolchildren to swim eagerly. "I would be happy if you and your parents came to our swimming pool in ebern often, said the mayor.
According to the DLRG, at least 504 people drowned nationwide last year, including 26 children of pre-school and primary school age alone. Drowning is one of the most common causes of accidental death among elementary school children. According to a 2017 forsa study, almost 60 percent of ten-year-olds are unsafe in water.
The "safe swimmers" project has been running since 2013 and was expanded this year to nearly 40 schools in bavaria. In the 2018/2019 school year alone, around 3500 children are involved across bavaria. Over three-quarters of third and fourth graders achieved the bronze youth swimming badge at the end of the 2013/14 pilot phase. So far, more than 12,000 schoolchildren have benefited from the program.
Gudrun schnitzer, head of the elementary school in ebern, emphasizes the importance of swimming at the elementary school: "we have ideal conditions for this with the indoor and outdoor pools."
Seven-year-old noah, who attends first grade, is also enthusiastic about the project. "It is already if you can swim. I've been to croatia with my parents, and it's good to know how to swim there too. I already knew a little bit about it before we learned it in school", says the boy.
Seniors in the water
But swimming is not only important for children, as another DLRG program shows. "Seniors in the water is an exercise and training concept for the age group of 70 years and older. For years, this sport for seniors has not only been taking place for the purpose of health maintenance; it also offers contact opportunities and happy hours.