Sport and Swimming in Australian Schools

My daughter, Elizabeth, who is now 9 and in year 4 said to me the other day “Daddy, did you know there are only two days a week when I don’t do any sport at all?

No, I didn’t. So I asked Elizabeth to explain, and here’s how her week pans out:

  • Monday – She has a games lesson at school. They go out to the school field or into the sports hall and play various games, you know, netball, basketball, European handball and softball, that sort of thing.
  • Tuesday – She has a swimming lesson at school in the morning, and then in the afternoon, PE. PE (as opposed to games) is more about preparing for sports day and includes the dreaded cross country running. After school, she has netball practice.
  • Wednesday – She does acrobatics, again, that one is after school.
  • Thursday – Nothing.
  • Friday – She has swim club after school; that one starts at around 6:15 PM and lasts for about an hour and a half.
  • Saturday – In the morning she has her weekly netball match.
  • Sunday – That’s the second day of the week when she has no sport.

So, as you can see, it’s quite an action packed week.

This weekend though, she was a little bit busier. The swimming club that she goes to on Friday evening held their Club Championships down at our local swimming pool on Sunday. And what a great swimming pool it is; it is actually an Olympic size pool.

our local poolAnd guess what? Kylie was there!

No no no, not that Kylie, the Olympic Kylie, Kylie Palmer.

Kylie represented Australia in the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and was part of the women’s 4 x 200 relay team that won the gold medal. Kylie was the fastest swimmer in the team which beat China and the USA as well as grabbing a new world record.

So she can swim a bit!

swimmerIn fairness to Elizabeth, she can swim a bit too. She was in 4 competitive races, some of which had more than one heat, and came home with two third-place ribbons for the freestyle and backstroke. She came fourth in her other two races.

Mrs Bobinoz also attended this swimathon which lasted over five hours, and had 91 races in all with who knows how many children involved. “Lots” is the most accurate number I can give you. Apparently, the whole event was impeccably organised and went off without a hitch.

The preparation that went into this event was simply mind-boggling. I have a 10 page handout from the day which details every single race, the name of every competitor in each of those races and the “Entry Time” that they each achieved to qualify for that race.

It also had the name of the club record holder for each of those events with their time and the date they achieved it.

Some of those club records date back to the 90s!

Event 91, the last event and Elizabeth’s fifth race of the day, was the “Open 200 LC Metre Freestyle Relay” which involved almost every swimmer that took part during the day. A great way to end a great day and the kids just loved it!

I’ve said before that Australians take their sport seriously, they also start taking it seriously quite early in life and Elizabeth definitely enjoys her involvement in these sports.

Oh, and what did she do when she got in from school today at around 3:15 PM? She jumped in the swimming pool for an hour or so with one of her friends.

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{ 5 comments… add one }
  • ana harris March 27, 2013, 11:47 pm | Link

    Thank you ever so much Bob.

    Ana Harris.

  • ana harris March 27, 2013, 5:08 am | Link

    Hi Bob, hope you are well, I would like to know if you could recommend me a good state school for my kids ( 7-5-3 ) in Moggil or Bellbowrie or Anstea or around those areas..I will be very grateful If you give me your opinion.

    Many Thanks.
    Ana.

    • BobinOz March 27, 2013, 8:57 pm | Link

      Nothing wrong with Moggill State School, your only other choices around here are Pullenvale and Brookfield. If you check out my page called Which school?, I think you’ll find that Moggill School outperformed the other two slightly.

      Hope that helps

      Bob

  • nerissa singh March 26, 2013, 10:02 am | Link

    I think its really great that the schools in Australia encourage so many outdoor activities and sports. A friend of mine living in Europe said her daughter came home from school and informed her that instead of doing PE in school, they each did 2 games of tennis on the Wii!!

    There is nothing like getting outside and letting kids having good old fashioned fun….

    • BobinOz March 27, 2013, 12:47 am | Link

      Tennis on the Wii!! Good Lord!

      That’ll get ’em nice and fit. Never heard anything so ridiculous in my life…

      … probably.

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