Swimming instructor teaches underprivileged children for free


Swimming is not only a low-impact sport that is good for our lungs and heart, but also an important survival skill and chosen by many Vietnamese parents as a regular activity for their children.

However, not every family can afford to pay extra for swimming lessons, which are not covered in the mainstream school curriculum in most schools in Vietnam.

With this in mind, professional swimmer Luong Ngoc Duy and his friends have been offering free swimming lessons to underprivileged children in Saigon for the last 2 years.


Free swimming lessons for underprivileged children


Duy, a professional swimmer with 27 years of experience under his belt, is one of the founders of BƠI VÀ NHỮNG NGƯỜI BẠN, a Facebook group for local swimmers and former athletes.

Motivated by the desire to see fewer drowning cases among Vietnamese children, Duy and his group members go to swimming pools every weekend to teach swimming lessons to children.

free swimming lessons
Duy Luong (standing) and his friend holding a swimming lesson at Nguyen Thi Minh Khai High School
Image credit: Duy Luong

In the first place, Duy and his friends taught swimming lessons to underprivileged children in Dieu Giac Pagoda in District 2. Until today, the group has been offering free lessons to over 100 children from 3 different orphanages. They also borrow a swimming pool at Nguyen Thi Minh Khai High School and other places to give free swimming lessons to more underprivileged children.

free swimming lessons
Image credit: Duy Luong

“I am overjoyed to see these children mastering swimming techniques. They have been suffering a lot. With the money from our donors, we can donate swimming kits for the children as well as buy them food,” Duy said.

Nguyen Thanh Nam, a member of the group, shared that he is also very happy to teach swimming lessons to the children, who have become more confident and energetic thanks to swimming. Besides, being able to share his passion for swimming with them is also worthwhile to him.

free swimming lessons
Duy (far left) and his friends
Image credit: Duy Luong

To keep the operation going in the long run, Duy is also offering paid swimming lessons to people who can afford to pay regular lesson fees. All of the money earned will be donated to the swimming scholarship fund to support the underprivileged children in their swimming lessons and endeavors.

free swimming lessons
Image credit: Duy Luong


Drowning cases are high among children in Vietnam


There are 3,000 cases of drowning involving children in Vietnam every year, 10 times higher than that in developed countries, according to Vietnamnet.

Only 30% of students in primary and secondary schools in Vietnam can swim, while drowning takes up 50% of injuries and fatalities involving children in the country.

free swimming lessons
Image credit: Duy Luong

According to experts, learning how to swim is the best solution to reducing drowning cases among children, especially in areas where there are a lot of rivers or lakes.


Swimming athletes offer free swimming lessons to underprivileged children


What is scary about drowning is that it can happen at any time and very quickly. Parents or supervisors cannot keep an eye on their children all the time, so it’s very important that kids are taught some survival skills such as swimming to help themselves when the occasion calls for it.

While swimming is a sport that requires much time and energy for both instructors and students, it’s heart-warming to see Duy and his friends passionately share their knowledge and skills to underprivileged children at no cost.

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Cover image adapted from: Duy Luong

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