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All kids get 15 hours’ free swim lessons this summer

This summer, children in France will have access to 15 hours of free swimming lessons, as part of the annual operation ‘know how to swim’ (‘savoir nager’).

The campaign, from the Fédération Française de Natation (the French swimming federation, or FFN), aims to make sure all children are safe when swimming or playing in water, and is launched every year during the school summer holidays for kids aged 6 to 12.  

This year, children will be able to have 15 hours’ free lessons, five more than the 10 offered in previous years.

The list of participating swimming pools across the country has just been published on the FFN website, with more clubs being added to the list in the coming weeks.

Subject to availability at participating clubs, the 15 hours of classes are free, and there is just one flat fee of €15 to cover insurance costs. All children must have a medical certificate from their doctor stating their suitability to take part.

Classes take place in groups of 15 children maximum, with all participants who reach the right standard able to pass the ‘Sauv’Nage’ diploma at the end of the 15 hours.

This means they can float, move themselves in water and underwater, and can hold their breath underwater for 10 seconds or more.

The campaign also seeks to draw parents’ attention to the fact that children - especially those who cannot swim - are at risk of drowning, even in just 20cm of water, and that an incident can take place quietly and in just a few minutes.

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