Save our Schoolkids! Libby Trickett swings to support campaign
SHE'S one of Queensland's greatest ever competitive swimmers but Libby Trickett has thrown her weight behind the campaign for compulsory swimming lessons in Queensland schools, first and foremost as a concerned mum.
Trickett, 33, won more than 40 Olympic and Commonwealth Games and world championships medals and broke five world record during a stellar elite swimming career which ended in 2013.
But the Brisbane golden girl, who is about to give birth to her second child, says it as a parent that she has added her voice to News Queensland's Save Our Schoolkids campaign for mandatory swimming and water safety lessons in state primary schools.
"I think it's vital," said Trickett who is now a presenter on Brisbane radio station Triple M.
"I can't believe that in 2018, Queensland is basically the only state in the country without compulsory swimming lessons in schools.
"The (child drowning) statistics in the 0-5 year age group of kids are horrific. Having a two-and-half-year-old little girl (Poppy), I can't even imagine losing a child in that sort of way.
"It would just be absolutely awful."
Trickett said she and husband Luke began giving Poppy swimming lessons when she was just eight weeks old and would start teaching their new baby, due next month, at a similar age.
However, she said many parents struggled to afford swimming lessons for their kids and State Government-funded classes were critically needed to save young lives.
"It can be so hard for families with all the financial stresses these days," she said.
"If we made lessons compulsory in schools as part of the curriculum, it would help save so many lives in Queensland where so much of our lifestyle revolves around being in and around the water."
Trickett said teaching Poppy to swim at a young age had given the youngster confidence and herself and Luke peace of mind.
"It's great to see how comfortable she is in the water now and how much she enjoys it," she said.
"If she fell into the pool now, I'd be confident she'd be able to get to the other side absolutely easily."