The best swimming classes for kids in Shanghai

From breaststroke to butterfly, learning to swim is an important part of water safety (and a whole lot of fun) for children

Photograph: VCG
Encouraging your kid to stay active is important in helping them to build healthy habits that will carry into adulthood and to keep them stress free. Shanghai offers plenty of sports clubs for children, but warmer weather might have them excited about splashing around in the water than running about on a field. Here are three great swimming classes to try (and the best pools in Shanghai to practise their new skills).

Sport For Life

Having started in 2004, this sport organisation boasts being the only outlet in Shanghai
with a programme verified by Australia’s national organisation for the teaching of swimming and water safety AUSTSWIM. Unlike training schemes that emphasise mastering skills and techniques, Sport for Life’s courses stress a survival-based approach. It starts with building basic water confidence before introducing backstrokes and freestyle, with more advanced techniques like breaststroke only taught when the learner has developed a strong foundation in the basics.

Suitable age: Six months to nine years.

2,700-3,500RMB for a package of 16 classes. Surcharges applicable and varies depending on venue regulations. Call venue or email to enquire or book.

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Loong Swim Club

Loong Swim Club

Since launching its first branch in 2012, Loong has subsequently opened branches in more than ten major cities in China including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Chaired by the German aquatics educator Uwe Leghan (German School Swim Association and the World Aquatic Babies Children Network), all of its trainers are certified by the German training system BvAP. It offers a range of programmes from beginner-level water confidence classes to intermediate-level swimming. Each programme includes 78 classes and classes are 30 to 45 minutes each. Water temperature is controlled between 32 and 34 degrees Celsius all year round.

Suitable age: Three months to six years.

25,000RMB per programme. Call venue to book.

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No 1 Liuquan Lane


Founded in 1983 by South African-born educator, Pierre Steynberg, Multi-Sport has since then expanded its venues across East and Southeast Asia. Its swimming classes are led by qualified trainers awarded by the ASA (Amateur Swimming Association) based in the UK. Available programmes range from Parent and Babies classes, Tadpole to progressive training courses; from foundational courses that build water confidence to training into proficient freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke swimmers.

For expressed aqua-thusiasts, Multi-Sport also offers a water polo programme. Applicants are required to prove competent freestyle techniques and must be over 12 years in age.

Suitable age: Three to 12 years.

From 680 to 2,100RMB depending on programme. Call venue to book.

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Various venues across Shanghai