Our Mini-Squad Level Descriptions

Level Descriptions- Mini Squad

 

Penguin

The Penguin level is the beginning of our Mini-Squad journey.

The age range for the Penguin swimmer is generally between 7-12years. Every swimmer is different and the time taken to master a particular skill is never the same. Typically it will take a swimmer 12-15 months of consistent swimming (2 sessions per week) to master all the skills required to progress out of the Penguin level. 

Coaches are now teaching out of the water and classes can have up to 10 swimmers per lesson and run for 45min.

The Penguin level is fantastic for developing social interaction and the swimmers ability to communicate and learn in a different way.

  • Freestyle and Backstroke technique are continuing to be reinforced.
  • Basic Breaststroke technique and timing is introduced.
  • Butterfly (dolphin) kicking is developed further.
  • Butterfly is used vary sparingly during Penguins.
  • Technical Skills such as Dives and Turns are introduced and incorporated
  • Feedback is still quite general but takes a more individualized approach.
  • Swimmers that are interested in the sport of competitive swimming are encouraged to join Wests Illawarra Aquatic Swimming Club
  • Progression is competency based in terms of skill and emotional readiness and swimmers are being monitored on a daily basis as opposed to a set week assessment.

 

Kingfish

The Kingfish level is the second chapter of our Mini-Squad journey.

The age range for the Kingfish swimmer is generally between 8-12years. Every swimmer is different and the time taken to master a particular skill is never the same. Typically it will take a swimmer 15-18 months of consistent swimming (2-3 sessions per week) to master all the skills required to progress out of the Kingfish level.

Swimmers are now familiar with having their coaches out of the water, while listening and looking for technical cues. Classes can have up to 16 swimmers per lesson across 2 lanes and now run for 60min. 

  • Technical excellence in Freestyle, Backstroke and Breaststroke are continuing to be developed and reinforced.
  • Swimmers aerobic capacity is beginning to be developed through more specific set design.
  • Basic Butterfly technique and timing is introduced.
  • Technical Skills such as Dives and Turns are reinforced and expanded on.
  • Feedback becomes more specific and individualized.
  • Swimmers that are interested in the sport of competitive swimming are encouraged to join Wests Illawarra Aquatic Swimming Club
  • Progression is competency based in terms of skill and emotional readiness and swimmers are being monitored on a daily basis as opposed to a set week assessment.

 

Shark

The Shark level is the final chapter in our Mini-Squad journey.

The age range for the Shark swimmer is generally between 9-13years. Every swimmer is different and the time taken to master a particular skill is never the same. Typically it will take a swimmer 15-18 months of consistent swimming (3-4 sessions per week) to master all the skills required to progress out of the Shark level.

  • Technical excellence in all four strokes is the highest priority and is continuing to be developed and reinforced.
  • Swimmers aerobic capacity is continuing to be reinforced through more specific set design.
  • Speed practice is incorporated through short intervals and games.
  • Technical Skills such as Dives and Turns are continually reinforced.
  • Feedback continues to be specific and individualized
  • Swimmers that are interested in the sport of competitive swimming are encouraged to join Wests Illawarra Aquatic Swimming Club
  • Swimmers that are not interested in competitive swimming and have entered high school have the option to progress into our TEAM Squad program.
  • Progression is competency based in terms of skill and emotional readiness and swimmers are being monitored on a daily basis as opposed to a set week assessment.

 

 

For more information on Wests Illawarra Aquatic Swimming Club please speak to one of your coaches or visit the website: http://www.wiaq.swimming.org.au/


Prestigious Industry Award Achieved by Mckeons Swim Schools

MEDIA RELEASE

13/05/2015

MCKEON'S SWIM SCHOOL MAKES SOUTH COAST KIDS SAFER WITH PRESTIGIOUS INDUSTRY STATUS

McKeon’s Swim School in Unanderra and Towradgi, have made south coast kids that much safer, achieving top industry honours, reaching Swim Australia swim school Accreditation status.

Swim Australia - the leading learn-to-swim and water safety authority – insist the swim school Accreditation process helps identify applicable swim schools, who have achieved high quality operations and teaching methods, including facility and systems management, staff development, customer care, and safety.

“It certainly wasn’t an easy process, but we couldn’t be more proud of this achievement and what it means for our community,” said Susie McKeon from McKeon’s Swim School.

“Not only are we the first swim school in the area to achieve this merit with the industry’s peak body, but we’re delighted our principles and practices prove we’re doing it better, and helping kids swim safer, smarter and stronger, as a result,” Mrs McKeon added.

McKeon’s Swim School are the 21st centre nationwide, to achieve this industry status; seven additional centres in NSW also belong to this prestigious Swim Australia club.

“McKeon’s Swim School is a leading school, not only locally, but nationally, and have been registered with Swim Australia since our inception, over 18 years ago,” said Swim Australia CEO, Ross Gage.

 “McKeon’s Swim School’s overall achievements in aiding their community, and providing a leading edge learn-to-swim program, gives parents the piece of mind, their children are being taught by true professionals, with advanced teaching methods, in an environment allowing individualised growth and development,” added Swim Australia CEO, Ross Gage.

Further information, or to arrange a photo opportunity, please contact:
Jasmin Forsyth

Swim Australia – PR & Media Manager
M: 0403 136 681
E: Jasmin.Forsyth@swimaustralia.org.au

Swim Australia Accedited Swim School 2014-2015 Emblem


Splash N Dash

Splash n Dash Festival and McKeon's Swim School Logos

McKeon’s Swim School is proud to be a presenting partner of the Wollongong Ocean and Basin Swim Festival 2015! This is the swimming component of the 4th Annual Splash ‘n’ Dash Festival in support of Ovarian Cancer Australia, which is run by the same organisation as the Australia Day Aquathon.

This is a great opportunity for the community to get involved in a safe open water swimming experience in an idyllic setting, with swims for both children and adults! 

We've chosen to support this event as it is a great fit for our belief that swimming is a life skill that enables participation in a range of aquatic activities. Swimming regularly and participating in events such as this is a great way to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. 

With exceptional attention to safety and professional services the Ocean and Basin Swim Festival offers the first timer, families, corporate groups, kids to older kids, athletes and all in between a perfect opportunity to support charity, get fit, have fun and take on a personal challenge.

We encourage you to get involved!

Open water swim tips from 2012 London Olympian and Australian Open Water Champion, Jarrod Poort as seen in Men's Fitness Magazine, January, 2013

Key Details:

Youtube - Splash N Dash video 2015


Event Photos 2014


Swim Australia Teacher Course

Have you ever considered becoming a swim school teacher? You too can teach children one of the most important skills they will ever learn, and one they will utilise for the rest of their lives!

Enrol now in our next Swim Australia Teacher’s course to be held at our Unanderra Centre on Sunday 14th June 2015 from 830am to 530pm. For further details enquire at our front desk.


What is my child learning in their lesson?

The following is a detailed explanation of each of the levels from our Pre-school Program to Mini-squad Program.

PERIWINKLE

 Periwinkle Cartoon

Periwinkle is the first level of our pre-school age program. This class has a maximum of 4 children and the duration of the class is 30 minutes. This level is an introduction for water confidence and teaches basic survival skills.


Skills focused on in the Periwinkle level include:

  Submerge & open eyes.

  Front kick with board, face under.

  Push & glide (front ‘rocket’).

  Back float.

  Jump in, turn around & kick / paddle back to wall.

  Swim unaided for 1 metre face under with good kick & paddle arms.

 

 

 

STINGRAY

 Cartoon stingray

 

  Stingray is the second level of our pre-school age program. This class has a maximum of 4 children and the duration for the class is 30 minutes. Important water safety skills are taught in this level and it is the foundation for their future swimming.

 

Skills focused on in the Stingray level include:

  Back float & vertical recovery to wall.

  Front float roll to back float roll to recover unaided to wall.

  Front kick with board, exhaling underwater, unaided.

  Back kick with board, unaided with good propulsive kick.

  Jump in without goggles & return to the wall.

  Swim unaided for 8 metres with correct propulsive kick, long paddle arms & exhaling in the water.

 

 

 

SEAHORSE

 Cartoon Seahorse

  Seahorse is the third level of our pre-school age program. This class has a maximum of 4 children and the duration for the class is 30 minutes. This level is introducing freestyle arms and continuing to build on correct propulsive kick. Water safety skills and survival sequences are also a main focus of this level.

 

Skills focused on in the Seahorse level include:

  Swim – float – swim sequence 8m fully clothed & without goggles.

  Streamline front kick 8 metres with correct kick & good propulsion (no bubbles).

  Streamline back kick 8 metres with correct kick & good propulsion.

  Swim 8 metres with correct freestyle arms & body position & good propulsive kick (no breathing).

 

 

SWORDFISH

 Cartoon Seahorse

  

  Swordfish is the fourth level of our preschool program. This class has a maximum of 4 children and the duration for the class is 30 minutes. This level focuses on teaching correct freestyle and backstroke technique. It requires the child to utilize their current skills and learn to co-ordinate bilateral breathing with freestyle arms and kick.

 

Skills focused on in the Swordfish level include:

  Swim 8 metres freestyle – correct bilateral breathing, correct body position & propulsive kick.

  Swim 8 metres backstroke with correct body position & good propulsive kick.

  Perform a kneeling dive entry.

 

 

GUPPY

Cartoon Guppy

 

 Guppy is the first level of our school age program. This class has a maximum of 4 children and the duration for the class is 30 minutes. Important water safety skills are taught in this level and it is the foundation for their future swimming.

 

 Skills focused on in the Guppy level include 

  Front & Back Float recovering unaided to wall.

  Push & Glide – front rocket without kicking, holding correct body position.

  Front kick with board, exhaling under water, unaided.

  Back kick with board, unaided with good propulsive kick.

  Jump in without goggles and return to wall.

  Swim unaided for 8 metres – correct propulsive kick long paddle arms & exhaling in water.

 

 

FLYING FISH

Cartoon Flying Fish

 

  Flying Fish is our second level of the school age program. This class has a maximum of 4 children and the duration for the class is 30 minutes. This level is introducing freestyle arms and continuing to build on correct propulsive kick. Water safety skills and survival sequences are also a main focus of this level.

 

Skills focused on in the Flying Fish level include: 

  Swim – float – swim sequence 8m fully clothed & without goggles.

  Streamline front kick 8 metres with correct kick & good propulsion (no bubbles).

  Streamline back kick 8 metres with correct kick & good propulsion.

  Swim 8 metres with correct freestyle arms & body position & good propulsive kick (no breathing).

 

 

STARFISH

 Cartoon Starfish

  Starfish is the third level of our school age program. This class has a maximum of 4 children and the duration for the class is 30 minutes. This level focuses on teaching correct freestyle and backstroke technique. It requires the child to utilize their current skills and learn to co-ordinate bilateral breathing with freestyle arms and kick.

 

Skills focused on in the Starfish level include:

  Swim 8 metres freestyle – correct bilateral breathing, correct body position & propulsive kick.

  Swim 8 metres backstroke with correct body position & good propulsive kick.

  Perform a kneeling dive entry.

 

 

MINNOW

Cartoon Minnow

 

  Minnow is the third level of our school age program. This class has a maximum of 4 children and the duration for the class is 30 minutes. This level is further developing the freestyle and backstroke technique and extending the distance swum for each stroke. New skills are also introduced to start building the foundation for butterfly and breaststroke.

 

Skills focused on in the Minnow level include:

  Swim 15 metres freestyle from a streamline start with bilateral breathing, correct body position, good propulsive kick & without a dropped shoulder.

  Swim 15 metres backstroke, streamline start with correct body position & good propulsive kick.

  Perform a basic standing dive entry.

  Learning a basic breast stroke kick.

  Learning a basic butterfly kick.

  Learning a basic somersault.

 

 

GOLDFISH

 Cartoon Goldfish

 

  Goldfish is the final level of the school age program. This class has a maximum of 5 children and the duration for the class is 30 minutes. This level is focusing on extending the distance swum and building endurance and technique. Other skills are also introduced in preparation before progressing to mini squad.

 

Skills focused on in the Goldfish level include:

  Swim 25 metres freestyle with good style maintained over the distance.

  Swim 25 metres backstroke with good style maintained over the distance.

  Perform a basic breaststroke kick.

  Perform a basic butterfly kick.

  Perform a basic somersault.

  Perform a standing start with a streamline entry.

 

 

PENGUIN

Cartoon Penguin

 

Penguin is the first level of McKeon’s Mini Squad Program. The duration for the class is 45 minutes.

 

Skills focused on in the Penguin level include:

  100m Freestyle holding balanced stroke and continuous kick.

  50m Freestyle Kick under 1min 30sec.

  50m Backstroke with correct finish.

  50m Basic Breaststroke.

  50m Butterfly Kick.

  Competition Dive.

  Learning Freestyle & Backstroke Tumble Turns.

 

 

KINGFISH

 Cartoon Kingfish

 

Kingfish is the second level of McKeon’s Mini Squad Program. The duration for the class is 60 minutes.

 

Skills focused on in the Kingfish level include: 

  200m Freestyle with legal turns under 4min.

  100m Freestyle Kick under 2min 30sec.

  8x50m Freestyle on 1min 15sec.

  100m Backstroke holding balanced stroke and continuous kick.

  100m Breaststroke holding long relaxed strokes.

  25m Basic Butterfly.

  Competition Dive.

  Improving Freestyle and Backstroke Tumble Turns.

  Learning Breaststroke and Butterfly Turns.

 

 

SHARK

Cartoon Shark

 

Sharks is the final level of McKeon’s Mini Squad Program.The duration for the class is 60 minutes

 

Skills focused on in the Shark level include:

  400m Freestyle under 7min.

  100m Freestyle Kick under 2min 15sec.

  8x100m Freestyle on 2min 15sec.

  8x50m Backstroke on 1min 20sec.

  8x50m Breaststroke on 1min 30sec.

  4x25m Butterfly.

  Legal Starts / Turns / Finishes All Strokes


Meet our Olympian - Jarrod Poort

Jarrod Poort, 2012 London OlympianMeet Jarrod Poort - 2012 London Olympian & valued member of McKeon's Senior Gold Squad!


• WHEN & WHERE DID YOU START SWIMMING?

- My Dad actually taught me how to swim, in a dam on the farm that we lived on when I was very little in Bowral NSW. Mum and Dad then took me to learn-to-swim classes, where I progressed through all the levels. 


• WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST LEARN-TO-SWIM MEMORY?

- Going to learn-to-swim classes and playing lots of games, and I think there was a water slide!


• HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU STARTED POINTSCORE?

- About 12yrs old.


• WERE YOU ALWAYS GOOD?

- Definitely not, but I enjoyed it alot and started to get a bit better as I got older.


• WHAT DOES YOUR NORMAL DAY ENTAIL?

- Wake up at 4:15AM - have a little snack - drive to the pool - train till the session is done - stretch - have breakfast - gym - start uni at 9:00am - classes till 3:00pm - then back in the pool at 4:00pm.


• HOW MANY KILOMETRES WOULD YOU SWIM IN A AVERAGE TRAINING WEEK?

- 70km.


• HOW DID YOU BALANCE COMPLETING YOUR HSC AND ALL THE TIME YOU HAD OFF TO PREPARE AND COMPETE IN THE 2012 LONDON OLYMPIC GAMES?

- Last year was pretty tough balancing the HSC with the Olympics, but if I can do it anyone can! I think the key was being organised, and having a plan. I'm not too sure how much school I missed last year, but it was definitely a lot....


• WHAT WAS YOUR GREATEST EXPERIENCE IN LONDON?

- Racing - Being on the Aussie team - and then going around for a whole week supporting and watching heaps of other Aussies in other sports!


• WHAT ARE YOU UP TO NOW?

- Study - Studying a Bachelor of Business at Wollongong University - Training- Training At the University Pool under Ron in the Gold Squad, concentrating on World Champs - I will be competing in the 5km Race on 20th of July in Barcelona Boat Harbour.


• ANY WORDS OF WISDOM TO YOUNG KIDS IN THE MINI-SQUAD PROGRAM?

- If you enjoy swimming and want to go places with it and be the best you can, train hard, hang in there, and just remember you will only get out what you put in! Some day you might be able to go to the Olympics!


Why Swimming All Year Round is Best!

Continuing to swim all-year round has many benefits – and here are some of the best reasons to stay involved with a learn-to-swim program throughout the year:

  • Improve Safety – Keep up important experience and skills, the risks don’t go away during cooler times of the year.
  • Maintain Skills – Skills need reinforcement or they can regress, especially with children under 5 years.
  • Physical Fitness - Establish a routine of fitness, swimming offers healthy benefits with minimal risk of sport related injury.
  • Develop a skill that will last a lifetime – Almost all ages and ability levels can use the water for recreation, exercise and sport.
  • “Ongoing stimulation and developmental benefits”
  • Parental Bonding – In the water, the close physical contact and quality time helps strengthen the natural bond like no other environment can.
  • Social Skills – Maintain important social interaction each week with regular attendance. 
  • It's Fun! - Continue the enjoyment. 
  • Academic Improvement - Physical activity can facilitate academic improvement. Some studies have shown higher grade point averages in swimmers and water polo players.

While it is getting cold outside – please be reminded our pools are kept at a constant heated temperature all-year round. Our Unanderra centre also has the air and flooring heated for added comfort of our patrons. To minimise the risk of your child catching a cold – please ensure you towel-dry off your children immediately after exiting the water, and ensure your children leave the centre fully clothed with a hat and shoes on to keep warm.


McKeon's Environmental Initiatives

McKeon Swim School recognise that our future prosperity is dependent on reducing our carbon footprint.

The aquatic industry is obviously a big user of water. While in many ways this is unavoidable, we at McKeons have introduced measures to reduce our residual water usage and to fully utilise any water on site.

Rainwater Tanks

We have installed a 125,000 Litre Team Poly Rainwater Tank which collects rain water from the roof of the centre. The water collected is used for the toilets, garden maintenance and outdoor irrigation.

Rotex Pool Energy Cell

The hot water from our showers is recycled as a floor heating mechanism for the comfort and safety of our patrons. The water travels from the showers, under the pool deck through pipes which in turn heat the floor. Not only is the water reused it prevents pooling around the shower area which reduces the risk of a slipping hazard.

Pool Blankets

Heated swimming pools evaporate over twice their volume every year! On a standard 8 x 4m pool, that’s almost 80,000 litres of water lost every year!!Most heat loss in pools occurs during the evening as the outside temperature drops. With this drop in temperature, the water in the pool loses a lot of heat – as much as 10 to 12˚c

We use a Sunbather Thermal blanket which is a multi-layered, foam based material which eliminates up to 97% of the evaporation when in use. It also keeps valuable heat in which means reducing our reliance on natural gas.

A thermal blanket is up to twice as effective at retaining heat as a solar or bubble blanket which means the alternative heating does half the work. And they are specifically designed to work with our pool heating,

Solar Panels

McKeon’s Swim Centre was fitted with solar panels in May 2009. Heat garnered from this system is used to heat pool water. The use of solar heating has helped us to reduce our reliance on natural gas by approximately 50%

To provide a powerful statement of the substantial effort that’s been put into saving energy, Sunbather created the Greenhouse Gas Monitor. This system records and tallies the energy savings. The large wall-mounted screen then displays the results for all to see.

Paperless Technology

We use electronic means of communicating with clients as often as possible. Reducing the amount of paper we use on site is an important sustainability initiative and we are all mindful to recycle paper and cardboard.


Safer Water

How to Keep Your Child SAFER in and Around the Water.....

Drowning is the greatest cause of accidental death in the under five age group in Australia. Each year, families are struck by tragedy as children die from drowning or are physically affected by a near drowning. 

Where children & water are concerned, there is no such thing as ‘water safe' or ‘drownproof'. It is most important for parents & caregivers to provide their young child who can swim, with the same level of supervision as one who cannot swim. Kids are kids; they can be unpredictable in their behaviour, & drowning accidents do happen, but YOU can make a difference:

Swimming lessons provide confidence & skills which your child will use for life. Giving your child the opportunity to learn how to swim well is one of the greatest gifts. Lessons will equip them with survival skills that will help save their life in an emergency situation

When your child is around the water - SUPERVISE. This does not mean an occasional glance while reading or snoozing - Supervision is defined as constant visual contact from within a distance of 3-5 metres, or arms reach if they're under 4 years.

Beware of DISTRACTIONS while supervising. Children have drowned while their caregiver is busy poolside with another child, has answered the phone, checked on the dinner etc. If a DISTRACTION demands attention, even if you know your child can swim, remove them from the water & secure them elsewhere until supervision can recommence.

The following things are NOT substitutes for supervision:

Pool fences, Older children looking out for them, Floatation aides, Swimming lessons 

Children have drowned despite all of the above.

Shallow water blackout can happen when a person hyperventilates before trying to see how far they can swim underwater eg. laps of a backyard pool. Discourage &/or supervise these types of games.

Be aware of making water SAFER around your HOME -

  • never leave small children alone in the bath & empty bathtubs as soon as the child is out.
  • empty all buckets & wading pools after playing
  • put the lid on the nappy bucket
  • secure the spa area
  • beware of the dog's water bucket - keep the dish shallow
  • don't leave toddlers unsupervised with access to a toilet (it has happened!)
  • be aware of any other large containers around the home & surrounding area that can fill up with rain water to become a drowning hazard.
  • Take toys out of pools (they may attract children) & beware of bins / outdoor furniture that children can push up to climb over pool fences.

When out visiting or on holidays, check for dangers - wading pools, open drains, garden ponds, creeks or dams, neighbouring pools/spas- when away from home some children tend to explore & be attracted to water & drowning accidents do happen.

Learn CPR & what to do in a drowning emergency - every second counts.

We must make a conscious effort to do everything we can to make our precious children SAFER around water. If one life is saved, then every effort has been worth it.