The Roman proverb: ‘An ignorant man neither knows how to read nor to swim,’ reveals just how the Romans esteemed swimming. Just as we frown on illiteracy today, they looked down on non-swimmers as incompetent.
For the Romans the skill was essential and should a child find themselves in danger, no amount of academic achievement will compensate for an inability to swim.
To understand why lifesaving swimming skills are viewed as less important today you need to dip beneath the surface of swimming history here in the UK.
Meanwhile the fact remains that in Leicester “only 18 primary schools in the city and county are known to be meeting the Government’s swimming targets” reports the Leicester Mercury, “The average state school pupil spends just eight hours and 15 minutes a year in swimming lessons at school – well under the 22 hours recommended by the Department for Education.
Swim Safe water safety advice for PARENTS and CHILDREN