The first Australian app to make learning to swim more accessible and affordable for all ages and abilities has been launched on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
The Paredu app has been created by long-term swimming industry experts Rackley Swimming, who operates 29 swimming centres across South East Queensland and boasts decades of experience teaching people of all ages to swim, including athletes preparing for significant state, national and global events.
Paredu CEO Wayne Pollock said that drowning is the third-leading cause of accidental death in Australia, and according to Royal Life Saving Society Australia, 90 people lost their lives in Australian waterways and swimming pools between 1 December 2022 and 28 February 2023.
“Our team wanted to create a way where people could learn to swim in their own time, whether in their pool, a bath for babies, a public pool or even rivers or lakes in those areas where public facilities are not available.
“The rate of drownings in Australia each year is devastating, and we are coming off one of the worst summer seasons in years, so it’s a massive problem across the country. We want to dramatically reduce that number through accessible and comprehensive lessons that combine digital and physical learning through one easy-to-use app.
“It’s never too early or too late to learn to swim and be safe in the water, and we believe the market for the Paredu app is significant with not just everyday Australians but also our growing migrant population, many who come from countries where swimming is seen as a luxury leisure activity.
“One in five Australians also identify as having some sort of a disability, and learning to swim with the Paredu app takes this into consideration by allowing lessons to be taken under circumstances that consider an individual’s lifestyle,” he said.
Mr Pollock said there were several reasons why more people, especially children, are growing up not knowing how to swim, with COVID lockdowns being one of the major factors in recent years.
“The Paredu app aims to remove the barrier of affordability and accessibility of swimming lessons by providing a low-cost, app-based solution. With this, we are very confident that more children will learn to swim.
“The app is easy to access and is perfect for time-poor parents with young children who can’t make it to traditional swimming lessons, or people living in rural areas without public pools but still have access to rivers, creeks and private pools,” Mr Pollock said.
Businesswoman and mother of two Lizzie Henebery said the Paredu app was a time and money saver for her family as she can teach her six-month-old daughter Jessie to swim in her own time.
“I work full time, and it is tough for me to take Jessie to swimming lessons consistently. I also have a seven-year-old daughter, Layla, and it was a real struggle to teach her to swim when she was young as I was running my own business. Hence, we are very excited to use Paredu’s lessons and video instructions to help little Jessie learn to swim.
“It’s great that the program can be modified to suit her age and abilities, and best of all, I have other friends who have children of a similar age, so we can all learn together with expert knowledge and information at our fingertips,” Lizzie said.
The Paredu app can be downloaded on any Apple or Android device in the App Store. It offers a two-week free trial and can be purchased for $10.99 per month or $89.00 per year.