One in five Swedish children can’t swim, despite the fact that they live in a land of lakes that is surrounded by sea. Energy company E.ON and the Swedish Swimming Federation have launched a campaign that uses virtual reality to encourage reticent children into the water.

As part of this campaign, a group of children who are afraid of the water share their thoughts on swimming. They say things like, “It doesn’t feel very nice,” and, “I’m sad when my friends swim but I can’t”.

Physchologist Philip Lindner tells:,

“Shorter exposure can help people experience fun things they’ve previously missed out on, and create motivation to change.”

Later E.ON introduces the children to Virtual Reality and using VR introduces to three members of the Swedish swim team, who escort them into the water and help them to overcome their fears by taking a virtual plunge.

Later, the children are taken to a real pool to meet the same swimmers, who encourage them into the water where they play happily and begin to learn to swim for themselves. The campaign shows the behavior of the child chnages completely thanks to the VR experience.  They say things like, “I was in the water in a second,” “I think that’s what I want to do when I grow up,” and “It feels good to be under water now.”.

You can watch this small video here:

You can order your free swim VR @ http://www.eon.se/simma