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59 councils back 2019 VICSWIM Summer Kidz program
The 2019 VICSWIM Summer Kidz program has been declared “a resounding success” by Grant Connors, Chief Executive of program organiser Aquatics and Recreation Victoria (ARV).
Releasing the 2019 VICSWIM VICSWIM Summer Kidz Program Report, Connors advised “after the Victorian Government announced, in May 2018, it would provide $1.2 million of funding for the VICSWIM program over next three years, Victorian families have shown their support with VICSWIM registrations increasing from 10,649 enrolments in 2018 to 13,864 in 2019.
“This year we saw unprecedented growth across the state thanks to a whole-of-state approach to growing the program. Our key partnerships within the aquatic industry played a significant role in helping VICSWIM breakdown some of the barriers for so many children across Victoria, so for that we thank you.”
In addition to a 30% rise in enrolments from the previous year, the program was run in 60 of the 79 Victorian municipalities (16% increase from 2018) as well as two venues in the NSW town of Albury NSW at 170 facilities (a 23% increase from 2018).
Connors added “the evolution and success of VICSWIM remains vital in our nations fight to reduce drowning deaths to zero.
“We do this by providing our aquatic service to those who would not normally have access, given a variety of barriers including location, access or financial constraints. Supporting rural and regional community liveability is important to VICSWIM and the inclusion of the VICSWIM program provides a mechanism to access programs often not provided beyond the metro areas.
“In the 2017/2018 financial year, 249 people drowned in Australian waterways with 40 of those drowning in Victoria.
“At a time when drowning deaths remain unacceptably high in Victoria, the value of the 2019 VICSWIM program should not only be measured in the number of participants or the more than 34,660 hours of swimming lessons delivered by the program, but equally important is the program’s ability to raise the awareness of swim safety and survival to the participants friends and families during the high risk summer holiday period, a time when the risk is at its potential peak.”
A snapshot of 2019 VICSWIM Summer Kidz Program numbers:
• 13,864 enrolments across the three weeks (up 30% from 2018)
• 34,660 hours of swimming & water safety lessons
• 170 venues hosted the program
• 59 participating LGA’s out of 79 (up 16% on last year)
• 15 of the top 20 disadvantaged municipalities (IRSAD) offered the program
• 365 casual swim teachers working on the program
• 22 regional coordinators
• 74% of venues located in regional or rural Victoria
• 40% of parents surveyed indicated that Vicswim was the only structured lesson they participated in within the previous 12 months.
• 90% parents said they were likely to reenroll next year
• 97% of parents believe there is still room to grow Vicswim within their community
The VICSWIM Summer Kidz program, which has been running since 1976, is an intensive learn to swim program held over three weeks in January each year.
Each VICSWIM enrolment costs $30 and provides participants with five x 30 minute lessons delivered across five consecutive days, developing each child’s water safety awareness, respect for different water environments, swimming skills and survival skills.
A current three-year funding commitment by the Victorian Government has ARV to invest in redeveloping the VICSWIM program.
2nd April 2019 - AUSTSWIM set to start 2019 conference series
5th November 2018 - Life Saving Victoria launches Safer Public Pools Code of Practice
26th October 2018 - YMCA Victoria backs VICSWIM with free participant family access
22nd October 2018 - Bookings open for VICSWIM summer program
12th September 2018 - Drowning Deaths decrease but Life Saving bodies urge against water safety complacency
30th March 2018 - VICSWIM Summer Kidz program continues resounding success in 42nd year
4th December 2017 - Report reveals 20% rise in drowning deaths in Victoria in 2016/17
21st October 2016 - 2017 VICSWIM program ready for enrolments
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