Kitaschwimmen Wasserfreunde Spandau
16 January 2020

Visiting friends. Water friends!

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Some have simply never done it. Or they are afraid. Afraid of the water, or more accurately: afraid of sinking below the surface. Overcoming an aversion to water is not easy for most. And it’s worse in the summer, when all children enjoy spending time in an outdoor pool, when everyone swims as much as they can, dive into the water, show off their practised cannonballs, and you can’t join in. The truth is: if you can’t swim, it’s not pleasant.

This is why the “Wasserfreunde Spandau 04” hold swimming courses during the holidays. The special feature is: They pick up children from Gewobag housing, take them to the swimming pool and then back home again, from door to door.

Floats, anti-chlorine goggles and fun in the group make it easier to learn to swim
Natascha Farkas swimming trainer of the Wasserfreunde Spandau 04.

One person who knows how it’s done is Natascha Farkas, who teaches the children to swim. More than 20 children took part during the last holiday swimming course in the autumn.

“It doesn’t happen at the drop of a hat. Learning to swim takes time, including the parents’ time”, she explained. And often that is precisely what it is: a time problem. For example, because both parents have to work.

“They don’t have the time to drive to the pool with the children, get changed, shower, etcetera”, said Farkas.

In addition: there are no longer that many swimming pools and it often takes too long to get to one. And sometimes it’s simply a case of families not being able to afford it. Swimming is not that cheap.

The thing is: the older you get, the more difficult it becomes to learn to swim”, Natascha Farkas continues.

And then at some time or other it is embarrassing, if you can’t swim. Learning to swim is increasingly associated with humiliation as you get older. On the one hand, this is because of a growing awareness of your body: “Children don’t feel bashful in swimwear, but teenagers and adults do”, said Natascha Farkas. On the other hand, the older you get, the more awkward it becomes to admit that you can’t swim.

Swimming student in the autumn holidays.

And how do we teach children to swim?

First of all, get them to wet their face and to blow bubbles in the water. You have to get the children used to water. They have to feel safe, be able to find their bearings if their head is under water”, is what Natascha Farkas knows.

Some are of the opinion that it is sufficient for the kids to learn to swim at school. But Natascha Farkas gave us something to think about: “The quality of compulsory swimming lessons in year 3 varies greatly.”

At the end of the course!

It’s clear: Once the aversion to water has been overcome, children and adults alike really enjoy themselves. And they have a real sense of achievement. “Psychologically, it is an important step in learning how to overcome yourself. From: I can’t do it, to I‘ll give it a try. And then the children emerge with shoulders squared and are proud.”

We have 2 x 2 VIP tickets for the Champions League game between Wasserfreunde Spandau 04 and Sintez Kazan (Russia) on 22/02/2020 in Berlin!

To take part in the draw, send an email by 17/02/2020 with “Wasserfreunde Spandau 04” in the subject line to

(Die GewinnerInnen werden am 18.02.2020 per E-Mail informiert. Der Rechtsweg ist ausgeschlossen. Die Ermittlung der GewinnerInnen erfolgt im Rahmen einer auf dem Zufallsprinzip beruhenden Verlosung unter allen TeilnehmerInnen.)

Photos © Mirko Seifert I Photos © City Press I Photo Natascha Farkas privat

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