Learn to Swim • The Princess Charlene Of Monaco Foundation South Africa Skip to content

Learn to Swim


Princess Charlene is all too aware of the risks associated with water. In fact 95% of drownings in South Africa occur in inland rivers, dams and swimming pools. Even more disturbing, considering how preventable it is, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death in South Africa.

Therefore we believe learning to swim is an essential life skill, like learning to cross a road safely. Far too many people, often children, drown because they can not swim. Globally, the highest drowning rates occur among children aged 1–4 years, followed by children aged 5–9 years. Learning to swim, respect the water and stay safe in it can reduce these statistics!

Our Learn-to-Swim programme, together with local organisations, host swimming courses and training days to teach children how to swim safely and confidently. The programme particularly focuses on disadvantaged children or those exposed to an obvious drowning risk due to their environment.

We promote our programme and inspire thousands of children across South Africa to learn to swim with help from local athletes, sporting heroes, and organisations such as Lifesaving South Africa

The Foundation has also helped fund the building of swimming facilities and assisted with renovating existing swimming pools to make them safe and continues to do this vital work in our communities.

Our Learn-to-swim partners

The Foundation works with the Kiddies Aqua Swimming Academy in Gauteng and other academies in Kwazulu-Natal and Cape Town to broaden our reach.

Kiddies Aqua Swimming Academy was established in 2011 by Lizette Botha. She previously owned Aqua Kids Swim School in Nelspruit for more than 17 years before becoming the Head Coach at Ryk Neethling’s swim school in Pretoria for three years.

Her swimming academy presents more than 170 000 swimming lessons annually and is the largest Infant- and Learn-to-Swim academy in South Africa!

Kiddies Aqua Swimming Academy has nine highly qualified, full-time swimming instructors – all graduates in the teaching, human movement science and/or childhood psychology fields.

The Siyasindisa Academy is a pioneering swim school based in the townships of South Africa. With a mission to promote aquatic sports, especially swimming, and to raise water safety awareness in local communities, the academy stands as a beacon of hope and progress. 

Despite the general unpopularity of swimming in township schools and local communities, Siyasindisa Academy is making waves by teaching this essential life skill, thus preventing drownings and opening doors to numerous benefits and opportunities. Siyasindisa Academy is dedicated to changing the narrative around aquatic sports in local communities. 

Recognizing the alarming rate of drowning incidents due to the lack of swimming skills, the academy emphasizes the importance of swimming as a crucial skill everyone should learn. Beyond water safety, the academy highlights the numerous advantages of engaging in aquatic sports, including physical fitness, mental well-being, and potential career opportunities.

Siyasindisa Academy is not just a swim school; it is a movement towards a safer, healthier, and more opportunity-rich future for local communities in South Africa. Join us at Siyasindisa Academy, and be part of a transformative journey in aquatic sports.