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Children to showcase aquatic skills at Pilbara Spirit Swimming and Lifesaving Carnival
Royal Life Saving WA will this week be hosting its seventh Annual Pilbara Spirit Swimming and Lifesaving Carnival at the South Hedland Aquatic Centre this Thursday (11th November 2021).
Part of a two-day Pilbara Aquatic Festival, supported by funding from Principal Community Partner BHP, the Carnival will see children and adults take part in a variety of activities including pool lifesaving development sessions for children and swim instructors.
The Pilbara Spirit Swimming and Lifesaving Carnival is extremely popular with schools across the region, and 100 children from nine different schools are set to attend this year.
Beyond the fun side of the event, Royal Life Saving WA uses the Carnival to make advance drowning prevention initiatives among Aboriginal children in regional Western Australia - with the Carnival giving children an opportunity to get together and showcase the swimming and lifesaving skills they have learnt throughout the year via the Swim and Survive and Swim for Fruit programs, which are supported by BHP, Healthway, and the Western Australian Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.
Explaining that these swimming and water safety programs are essential, Royal Life Saving WA Senior Manager Swimming and Water Safety Education, Trent Hotchkin states “learning to Swim and Survive is a vital life skill that all Western Australian children need to safely participate on, in and around water. Building swimming and water safety skills in young children is vital work and the single most important investment we can make as a community to prevent drowning.”
The schools involved in this year’s carnival include Yandeyarra Remote Community School, Baler Primary School, Cassia Primary School, Port Hedland Primary School, Roebourne Primary School, St Cecilia's Catholic PS, Strelley Community School, Punmu Remote Community School and Kunawarritji Remote Community School, with the children collectively travelling more than 1700 kilometres to attend the event.
The day will enable the children to come together in a fun environment to participate in an interactive carnival that encourages physical activity and learning valuable lifesaving skills, with students from Newman and Hedland Senior High Schools also volunteering their time to assist in running the events.
Advising that says the event is more than just your average school swimming carnival, Royal Life Saving WA Pilbara Development Officer, Lauren Thompson comments “the children will take part in the usual swimming races, but also traditional boat races and lifesaving activities, along with having an opportunity to try water polo and artistic swimming. Importantly they will also be able to meet and interact with children from other communities in the Pilbara, it’s a real coming together to have fun experience. To round out the carnival the participants will be treated to a special lunch.
“The wide range of activities involved has made the Spirit Carnival extremely popular with schools across the region.”
Hotchkin agrees, noting that the hope is that the children involved in this carnival will make a real difference in the future of their communities, stating “by enabling these children to take part in our Swim and Survive swimming and water safety program and enjoy events like the Spirit Carnival we hope to see them lead a generational change, learning skills to become the future lifesavers in remote and regional WA. We want to give these children the opportunity to not only learn skills to keep themselves safe while in, on and around water, but also to equip them to encourage all community members to develop lifesaving swimming skills.”
BHP Head of Corporate Affairs WA, Meath Hammond, says that the company’s partnership with Royal Life Saving WA is one that is making a real difference in drowning prevention right across the state.
He concludes “BHP is proud to have played a small part in Royal Life Saving’s bigger story through delivering vital programs to regional and vulnerable communities, training lifesavers and creating safer aquatic places for all Western Australians.”
Images of the Pilbara Spirit Swimming and Lifesaving Carnival courtesy of Royal Life Saving WA.
22nd September 2021 - Royal Life Saving announces new partnership program for swim schools
8th September 2021 - Lockdowns contribute to rise in Australian drowning deaths during past year
27th August 2021 - Port Hedland Council endorses aquatic facility masterplan
12th January 2021 - New pool of lifeguards qualified in the Pilbara
2nd December 2020 - Concept video released for pavilion at South Hedland Integrated Sports Hub
9th March 2020 - Royal Life Saving WA releases REFLECT Reconciliation Action Plan
4th March 2020 - Balgo Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pool gets official opening
15th August 2019 - South Hedland primary school children learn to Swim My Way
16th August 2018 - Royal Life Saving WA provides Swim and Survive program for CaLD children
21st March 2018 - Royal Life Saving WA promotes family fun at remote Burringurrah pool
18th January 2018 - South Hedland Aquatic Centre reopening not impacted by vandalism
25th April 2011 - Swimming Australia targets Indigenous swimming stars
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