aquatic education really does save lives!

Swimming Waikato has partnered with local funders, swimming clubs and facilities to deliver tens of thousands of fully funded water safety and survival swimming lessons annually. Our goal is to increase awareness and support for the delivery of aquatic skills that focus on drowning prevention, as well as empowering teachers by providing water safety resources and mentoring.

Our program began in 2021, and since then we have expanded our support into the following districts: Hamilton City and Waikato District, Thames-Coromandel, Hauraki, South Waikato, Matamata-Piako with hopes to expand this even further in 2023.

To date we have provided almost 40,000 individual water safety opportunities for Tamariki, supporting over 900 teachers and 100 primary schools. We of course could not do this without the amazing support we receive from our water safety partners and supporters: Sport New Zealand, Sport Waikato, Swimming NZ, NZ Lottery, WEL Energy Trust, Drowning Prevention Auckland, Water Safety New Zealand.

What We Offer

  • Approved educators to deliver five 45 minute in-pool and poolside water safety sessions
  • Professional development for teachers prior to Water Safety Lessons commencing
  • Five one-to-one professional development sessions on poolside
  • Available for primary and intermediate schools with an Equity Index 446 or higher with and without pools
  • Transport is partially or fully funded
  • $6,500 total funding per school, per year, this covers lessons, transport (if required) and any admin fees ​
  • Kia Maanu, Kia Ora resource to build knowledge and create safer attitudes
  • Water Skills for Life resource for in-pool physical skill development
  • Year 0-4 shallow water skills in school pools
  • Year 5-8 deep water experiences at local facilities or waterways
  • ‘I Do, We Do, You Do’ as 2/2/2  with structured lesson plans and support
  • Learning through context-based activities

bookings now open

Currently servicing Hamilton City, Waikato District, Thames/Coromandel Districts,
Hauraki, South Waikato and Matamata-Piako.
Apply now as spaces fill quickly.

Swim Safe faq's

Which schools can apply?  Current funding is available to schools with EQI 446 or higher in Hamilton City, Waikato, South Waikato and Thames Coromandel Districts.

What funding is available? The programme has been generously funded by WEL Energy Trust, Lotteries Grants Board and Sport New Zealand’s Tu Manawa fund (distributed by Sport Waikato). The maximum funding available per school is $6,500 excl GST annually.

Are transport costs covered? Transport costs will be considered based on individual application and are included in the maximum funding available.

How does payment work?  School Pool – Swimming Waikato will pay the Educators direct. Council Pool – Swimming Waikato will pay the pool facility direct up to the maximum funding available, the school will pay the balance (if any) direct to the facility. Transport – Swimming Waikato will pay the transport provider direct, up to the maximum funding available across both lessons and transport. The school will pay the transport company the balance.

Who will be delivering the programme? The Regional Swimming and Water Safety Officer will deliver the initial teacher PLD session. Then, our trained educators will work with students and teachers on pool side to ensure maximum effect for students and teachers. If attending an aquatic facility, the trained aquatic instructors at the facility will deliver the programme.

What if we need to cancel our lessons? If you wish to cancel your booking then you must give at least 1 weeks’ notice in writing. If a cancellation is made within one week of your proposed booking date you will be invoiced 50% of the total cost.

What if my school doesn’t fit the criteria or I have further questions? Please get in touch at [email protected] as we would love to discuss how we can help.

How can a school sign-up? Please complete the BOOK NOW form above.


“Thanks so much for the swim safety programme we had last week …
The impact of the lessons have saved a life or serious injury of a child. I can’t thank you enough!”

Bankwood School

April 2022

“The Water Safety lessons not only upskilled our Kaiako around how to teach water safety, but also enabled our tamariki to see what they needed to do if they got into trouble around water, and pass this information on to their whaanau.  The Kaiako and tamariki thoroughly enjoyed the experience.”

Tuakau School

Dec 2022

“The boat part was especially important as we are next to the sea and many students have opportunities to go on a boat and we do not have life jackets or a boat to teach these important skills.”

Moana School

April 2023

“Just wanted to touch base with you after our awesome day at Waterworld for our ‘Give it a Go day’. After speaking to the staff and the principal about how successful and important the day was, we have decided as a school to make this an annual event. .”

St Joseph's Catholic School, Te Aroha

August 2023

useful links

Supported by


Sport Waikato Office

Brian Perry Sports House
Wintec Rotokauri Campus
51 Akoranga Road, Hamilton 3200
PO Box 46, Hamilton 3240

Call Us

(+64) 27 776 6684

Phone Hours 9am - 3pm