To escape the heat, children in Madurai are crowding the city’s swimming pools

The real fun starts when the school year ends. Ask the children, many of whom are heading to the city’s swimming pools this season. With the mercury touching 40 degrees Celsius, the swimming pool automatically has become the first choice this summer.

“In these 15 days, my daughter will learn how to be safe in water,” says S.Priya about her four-year-old. Her friend, Malathi, also takes her son swimming as she thinks it is the best fitness activity for the summer months.

Some parents bring their kids who already know swimming so that they can practise. P.Ramesh’s eight-year-old son does just that. “My son knows swimming, the regular practice here will make him proficient,” he says. Parents also enjoy the chance to socialise with the other parents by the poolside. Senthil’s six-year-old daughter Deepika has made new friends and within a week of training here and has developed the interest to compete.

For coach Tamil Selva, it is a matter of great pride as many of his students have gone back from his swimming camps and won prizes in inter-school competitions. “Even the first time swimmers find learning fun here,” he says.

Nine-year-old Pranav beams proudly and says, “I did one hour of freestyle strokes today.”