By Greydon Snyder
At HCI this year, as part of the required gym credit, students will be required to learn how to swim at the pool. There have been many concerns from grade nine students about the swimming situation, and here’s why:
When questioned about mandatory swimming, Violet Evans Maxwell said she wasn’t afraid of swimming; however, she did have qualms about being in a swimsuit with peers. Could this hint at insecurities people have?
An anonymous grade nine student in Ms.McNeely’s class, said, “It’s kinda cool,” and “I’ve never done it before [but] I’m nervous about how it’ll happen.” He also stated, “I feel slightly insecure about my swimming abilities [and] not being fully clothed.”
When polled, sixty-six percent of students said they had no fears or qualms about swimming. However, the other 33 percent? You guessed it, they did. While true, this can be seen as a small number; in an average class, ten people would fear swimming, with only twenty being fine with it.
Schools in Ontario have a long history of teaching students how to swim, yet still, there is fear. Why is this? Well, when coming to a new school, people's main concerns are often social; swimming requires one to remove all of their clothing and be completely exposed. A social nightmare potentially — at least, that’s what our minds lead us to believe. In reality, swimming isn’t that scary; however, as with many things our thoughts are much more terrifying than reality.
Perhaps it isn't as scary as it seems.
“It’s a bonding experience,” said Leon Chen, a grade twelve student well-versed in the ways of school and swimming at school. He also stated that, while he was somewhat scared, he now loves swimming, and has no fears about the activity.
Perhaps we shall start off in fear but end in cahoots with swimming.