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Diving into Safety with German Swimming Badges

by Anne Hamburger

On June 25 and 26, 2024, a significant initiative to promote swimming skills and water safety took place at our school. Under the guidance of Mr. Simmelbauer, Mr. Masamba, and Ms. Hamburger for students from Grades 5 to 10 (English and German sections); and Ms. Berger and the German Primary homeroom teachers for Grades 1D to 4D, students had the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities by participating in the assessment for the German swimming badges.

The importance of swimming as a life-saving skill cannot be overstated, and it has become our mission to foster this ability among all students. The swimming badges, divided into Bronze, Silver, and Gold categories, provide a structured challenge covering both the physical and theoretical aspects of swimming.

Bronze represents the entry level, where students must swim 200 meters within 15 minutes after a diving jump, retrieve a diving ring from 2 meters deep, and demonstrate their knowledge of swimming rules in a theoretical exam. The Silver badge raises the requirements: 400 meters of swimming in 20 minutes, two deep dives, and a 10-meter underwater swim are required. Additionally, a jump from 3 meters height and knowledge of self-rescue techniques crucial in emergencies such as exhaustion or cramps are tested. The highest level, the Gold badge, requires students to swim 800 meters in 30 minutes, perform a dive start followed by 25 meters of freestyle, 50 meters each of breaststroke and backstroke. Also essential is rescue swimming, where students learn to rescue another person in the water.

The response to this initiative was overwhelmingly positive. Students showed not only great commitment and enthusiasm but also remarkable progress in their swimming skills. The event provided not only a challenge but also a platform for fun and personal development. Plans are already underway to continue this valuable initiative in the coming years.


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