Finding the best swimming lessons in Lane Cove and when to start

One of the most frequently asked questions by parents is when do I start my child in swimming lessons (and when do we stop)?  We asked Carlile Swimming to answer this frequently asked question.

Expecting a one year old to swim freestyle is about as realistic as asking her to drive your SUV. Yet countless experts insist that the best time to start swimming lessons is, as soon as possible.

Laurie Lawrence has been teaching babies to swim for decades. He is a passionate advocate for getting babies in the water, but there was a time when Lawrence was a cynic.

“I didn’t believe in baby teaching, then I had my own daughter and I started to investigate. But of course, Forbes (Carlile) had already started,” Lawrence told a Foxtel documentary on Australian Swimming.

Lawrence visited the late swim coaching master Forbes Carlile at his home in Sydney “one morning about five am there’s Laurie on the doorstep, he said I haven’t come to see your swimmers, I’ve come to see your babies,” Carlile recalled years later.

“Once I saw it, I couldn’t believe it. It was amazing,” Lawrence added.

Forbes and Ursula Carlile pioneered baby teaching in Australia, opening Sydney’s first indoor learn to swim centre. The company they founded, Carlile Swimming, is now regarded as one of the world’s leading swim schools.


At Carlile, they run Waterbabies classes from three months of age.

“By that stage their immune systems are developing, they are bonded with you and they love the buoyancy of the water,” said Carlile Director and former Australian champion Richard Cahalan.

“It’s a perfect time for parents to help them explore and have fun, but beyond that, babies and young children become familiar with the water and learn important water safety skills,” Cahalan added.

Swimming is thriving

Australia’s Griffith University conducted a ground-breaking four year study on the benefits of swimming young. The study found children who attended regular swimming lessons improved physical, emotional, social and cognitive skills. In fact, compared to the non-swimming population, the 3 to 5 years olds in the study were:

  • 11 months ahead in verbal skills
  • 6 months ahead in mathematic skills
  • 2 months ahead in literacy skills
  • 17 months ahead in story recall
  • 20 months ahead in understanding directions

Mr Cahalan, stresses that finding the right pool and teaching program is a must.  “The pool itself has to be warm, both in and out of the water.  You also want a facility with quality filtration and water treatment, that ensures the highest level of hygiene,” he says.

World Class Teaching Pool

Carlile Swimming made a huge investment in Lane Cove by opening their purpose built pool at Lane Cove West.  The pool was designed in collaboration with Australia’s leading aquatic engineers who were responsible for some of the largest projects in the world including the 2000 Sydney and 2008 Beijing Olympic Aquatic centres.

Swimming is surviving

Swimming is a survival skill; one that could, quite literally, save your child’s life. Accidental drowning is the leading cause of death in Australian children under 5. But participating in formal swimming lessons throughout the whole year is associated with an 88% reduction in the risk of drowning in children between 1 and 4 years (although this is just one step in building the layers of safer swimming).

School Holiday Swimming

Carlile Swimming’s Swimvac program is delivered in 30 or 45 minute daily classes (depending on the level) over a one-week period during the school holidays.

The program is offered for Learn to Swim, Stroke Development and Squad classes. In Easter week one is four days (due to the pool being closed on Easter Monday) at a discount rate of $80 and week two is five days also at a discounted rate of $100.

The daily routine and frequent repetition of classes help children master skills and strokes and can produce incredible improvements. This program is suitable for all ages and abilities, except Waterbabies, and is particularly useful for children who are either new to swimming or need to master a skill so they can graduate to the next level.

Swimvac classes are more intensive than usual swimming lessons because their aim is to help your child focus on a particular skill that needs improvement or to help them gain greater confidence in the water. Plus, your child will have lots of fun with their classmates as they improve their swimming technique together.

Some improvements Carlile Swimming Coaches have seen at Swimvac include:

  • Faster progress achieved with daily lessons
  • Improved swimming safety and skills
  • Greater confidence in the water
  • Improved stroke technique
  • Greater swimming proficiency across all levels
  • Increased endurance in Stroke Development classes

Specialised Clinics

Does your child want to take their swimming to the next level?  During the holidays Carlile offers Specialised Clinics for Mastering Butterfly and Breaststroke or getting ready to fly out of the Starts and Turns.  These can be booked individually for $23.25 per clinic.

About Carlile

Carlile Swimming have been pioneering new teaching and training methods for more than half a century and are recognised worldwide as a leader in all aspects of aquatic education.

Contact Details

Address: Carlile Swimming, 4 Sirius Road Lane Cove West NSW 2066
Book Here: 
Phone: 9188 1027
Email: Click Here

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