Courage - For children aged 3 to 5 years

Courage is the water confidence component of the Swim and Survive program, and is designed for children aged 3 to 5 years.

The Program is fundamental to the development of basic foundation skills in swimming, survival and water safety, as is a positive attitude towards learning these essential skills.

Swim and Survive Courage guides children through fun and safe activities, gradually building upon their breathing, floating and movement skills; supporting and encouraging independence. The Courage program progresses from initial parental participation to children developing trust and learning through interacting independently with the instructor.

Courage has 5 awards for children to progress through as they build confidence and develop new skills.

Fundamental development of skills in swimming, survival & water safety

Courage is a child focused program that seeks to build water confidence and develop skills across the following strands:

Entry and Exit Skills teach children to safely and confidently enter and exit the water using a range of basic techniques.

Breathing and Underwater Skills develop breath control and relaxation when submerging the face and body in the water, which in turn builds confidence.

Survival Skills include initial experiences using flotation aids for support in deep water whilst demonstrating personal survival and self preservation skills required for an emergency situation.

Floating and Sculling Skills encourage independent floating on the front and back and basic sculling skills to propel the body in a range of directions.

Movement and Swimming Strokes encourage the development of kicking and arm movement skills, basic independent mobility and working towards elementary swimming strokes.

Water Safety Education focuses on the simple messages of never swimming alone, calling for help if in trouble and understanding basic pool rules to support water safety.

Courage Award 1

Courage Award 1

To achieve this award you must be able to:


1. Enter and exit the water safely. May be assisted.

2. With assistance, holding the pool edge, move along the side towards an exit point and climb out.

3. Front float with the arms on adult's shoulders.

4. Back float with head resting on adult's shoulder.

5. Blow bubbles at the water surface.

6. Swirl, pull and push the water to feel the resistance.

7. With support, attempt to combine arms and leg movements.

8. With assistance, experience balancing using a range of flotation aids in shallow water.

9. Attempt to submerge the face underwater.

10. Answer questions on simple rules for personal water safety at home and the pool.

Courage Award 2

Courage Award 2

To achieve this award you must be able to:

1. Enter the water from a seated position with support.

2. Holding the pool edge, move along the side towards an exit point and climb out independently.

3. Front float using a buoyant aid with assistance.

4. Back float using a buoyant aid with assistance.

5. Blow bubbles into the water, mouth and nose submerged.

6. Demonstrate pulling arm action.

7. Kick on front and back using a kickboard with assistance.

8. Experience balancing using a range of flotation aids in shallow water.

9. With assistance, submerge and blow bubbles in waist deep water.

10. Answer questions on simple rules for personal water safety at home and the pool.

Courage Award 3

Courage Award 3

To achieve this award you must be able to:

1. Enter and exit the water safely and confidently.

2. With assistance, jump into chest deep water and return to the edge.

3. Front float confidently unassisted.

4. Back float confidently unassisted.

5. Blow bubbles in water with face fully submerged.

6. Demonstrate underwater reach and arm pull action.

7. Kick on front and back using kickboard unassisted.

8. With assistance, experience balance using a range of flotation aids in deep water.

9. With assistance, submerge, open eyes to retrieve an object held by the instructor.

10. Answer questions on simple rules for personal water safety at home and the pool.

Courage Award 4

Courage Award 4

To achieve this award you must be able to:

1. Perform a slide in entry and exit the water using the edge. May be assisted.

2. Jump into deep water and return to the edge. May be assisted.

3. With assistance, move from a front float to a back float.

4. Blow bubbles with the face fully submerged, take a breath and repeat the sequence a minimum of 3 times.

5. Swim 3 metres using underwater reach and arm pull.

6. Kick 3 metres on back with a hand sculling action.

7. Float with a flotation aid for 30 seconds.

8. Submerge, open eyes to retrieve an object and recover to a secure position.

9. Answer questions on simple rules for personal water safety at home and the pool.

Courage Award 5

Courage Award 5

To achieve this award you must be able to:

1. Perform a slide in entry and exit the water using the edge.

2. Jump into deep water and return to the edge.

3. Move from a back float to a front float and to a back float again.

4. Demonstrate breathing to the side in a horizontal position (kickboard optional).

5. Swim 5 metres freestyle with no coordinated breathing.

6. Swim 5 metres backstroke with ears in the water.

7. Move through the water for 30 seconds while holding a flotation aid and kick to safety.

8. Submerge and swim through an obstacle.

9. Answer questions on simple rules for personal water safety at home and the pool.