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Learning to swim like dolphins in the capital

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A toddler takes swimming lessons. Pha Lina

Learning to swim like dolphins in the capital

It seems to be a new trend that Cambodian parents, fearing for their child’s safety, decide they are too young to learn how to swim. But, it turns out, learning the skill from an expert can improve a child’s mental and physical development.

Sudsiri Prasitphon, a founder of Phnom Penh’s Swimming Dolphin Club Cambodia, and an expert on the benefits of swimming spoke at the recent grand opening of the baby swimming program at Layla Sports Center.

She says learning to swim at a young age has been popular for decades in countries throughout the world.

“Learning to swim can provide young children with a lot of benefits, including social development, muscle strength, reducing fear and improving brain function,” she says.

Saroeun Dora Kim Meng, another founder of Swimming Dolphin Club, said that “a child introduced to swimming by a professional will have better concentration and sleep. It will improve their IQs and strengthen the bond with parents as well”.

Trainer Ntthasak Thawudom, known to students as Phayuthyea, is a former Thai national team swimmer who knows firsthand the benefits of being in the pool from a young age.

“I was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD] . . . my parents took me for swimming classes since I was young. The result showed that swimming helped me become a normal child. In fact, I completed my schooling and become an athlete,” he said.

Dolphin’s swim classes are divided by age it and welcome children with autism and ADHD. Children aged six months to four years practice for 30 minutes a session. There are 12 sessions in the course which costs $360. Five to 12-year-olds practice for 45 minutes a session. Sessions for this age group cost $360 for 12 classes.

The swimming class is divided into those for babies and young children, including kids with autism and ADHD. Babies aged from six months to four years are trained for 30 minutes per session during a course of 12 classes. The tuition fee is $240.

Kids aged from five to 12 years attend 45-minutes classes at a total of 12 sessions per course. The tuition fee for them is $185.

Kim Meng, Dolphin’s 22-year-old founder, says it only takes between three and five sessions for children to become good enough to float and swim on their own.

Recently, Dolphin held a charity “Swimming for Survival Program” and trained 62 deaf and mute kids. They were from the Chbar Ampov Special Education school under the sponsorship of South Korea and Canada’s joint SCI Education.

Further information can be found on Facebook: Dolphin Swimming Club or 077 79 73 78