A place that I frequented from the age of seven to ten, about two to three times each week was my local pool, Crystal Lanes, located roughly five km from my home in my district. This recreation center is located on about ten acres of government land and is owned and operated by the city of Victoria. The pool is an Olympic sized 50-meter pool with ten lanes, and about 1 meter in the shallow end to 3 meters at the deep end. The deeper end of the pool also has three- and five-meter diving boards. There are two other smaller pools for toddlers and games.
I had started going to this pool at the age of 7 with my parents for swimming lessons. And then later, with my peers from school. Of course there were always trainers and lifeguards who were there to make sure the I wouldn’t drown. Between the age of 7 and 15 I learned to effectively swim in several styles, front crawl, backstroke and even butterfly. I attained a lifeguard level one certificate at the age of 15 which later came in really handy to land a summertime job at the beach near my home. I participated in many fun events at the pool including swim meets and even the occasional water polo tournament.
I have many emotional memories from my frequent visits to the pool. I can clearly recall being so scared of swimming in the deep end for the first time. Also, I remember how proud I was when I won my first race. Now, I look back on these regular visits to the pool with positive thoughts, not to mention that being a strong swimmer, I am confident while traveling to different aquatic destinations in the world and I can take full advantage of water sports like going surfing in Hawaii back in 2018.
What part of your swimming lessons did you find most challenging?
Definitely learning the butterfly was very challenging, however, the most challenging was when I had to learn the way to rescue a drowning adult and swim them to shore. This took a lot of not only energy but correct technique.
TIP 1 – always think about the answer, explanation and example!
TIP 2 – use the question (paraphrase parts of the question) in your answer
TIP 3 – make connections among your Part 3 and Part 2 answers.
Let’s talk about places for children.
What are some facilities that are built for children to learn and develop?
Aside from public pools that I had just mentioned, schools are built to aid the development of kids as well as community centers, and lots of playgrounds to promote their physical growth and wellbeing. I can find these facilities within walking distance of my home.
Which of these are government-funded and why?
Well, in fact, in most cases, all of the places that I had just mentioned are publicly funded through tax revenue because there is a common belief that children have the right for universal education and regardless of socioeconomic status kids must have opportunities to learn and develop. Therefore, the government allocates millions of dollars to build community centers, playgrounds, and even the pool I went to as a child.
How have playgrounds changed since a generation ago?
Oh, yes, playground have changed much over the past few decades. Back in my childhood playground had been much simpler with less equipment made of either wood or metal. However, these days playground have been carefully engineered to maximize safety and enjoyment of children. Nowadays, most of the equipment, like the jungle gyms are made of plastic and have many elements. At the playground near my home there is even an artificial climbing wall.
Is this good or bad?
Well, aside from the added pollution that the plastic from playground equipment will eventually create, I do think that these improvements are very positive for children’s growth and development. They are less likely to injure themselves and more likely to be active since they have more options for games.
Which places are good for children to go to for entertainment?
In addition to pools and playgrounds that I have been talking about, zoos, theme parks and video arcades are fun places for kids to go and hang out with friends and family. Once each week, I take my daughter to such a place and she has a blast with her friends for a few hours.
***Keep in mind your ideas and notes from Part 2 during your Part 3 speaking!!!
Can you give examples?
Let’s talk about physical activity during childhood.
It is often said that children these days are not as active as in the past, do you agree with this statement? Can you elaborate?
Which kinds of physical activities are important for children to participate in? Which ones are less advisable?