DESPITE being devastated by the floods in March, the owners of a local swim school have been recognised for keeping hundreds of local kids water safe.
MalKay and Ko Swim School is back up and running after half a metre of floodwater inundated the popular Yenda business and forced a five-month closure.
With 300 students this term and 350 expected next term, owners Kaylene and Malcolm Vearing already knew they were onto a good thing, but last month they flew to Sydney to receive a commendation award from NSW Austswim.
It had long been a dream of Mrs Vearing’s – who has been a swimming instructor for almost 15 years – and two years ago, the couple opened the swim school at their home.
“We thought we’d just do a couple of days a week but it’s just grown,” Mr Vearing said.
“Kaylene and our daughter Kayla had always wanted to build a decent swim school so we built this pool.”
Rather than being chlorinated, the pool is kept clean using a system of magnesium and potassium which is gentler on young skin and eyes.
But Mr Vearing said more parents needed to get their kids in the pool from a younger age.
“I think the government needs to do more to help parents because lessons can get expensive, especially with three or four kids,” he said.
“The earlier they get in, the better. We have babies from as young as four months.”
Six-year-old Emily Betteridge loves her lessons and mum Christine agreed it was important for youngsters to be confident in the water.
“It’s very important, especially in Griffith because we have so many open waterways and dams,” Mrs Betteridge said.
“We need to teach kids to respect the water.”