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RLSSWA Swim and Survive Access and Equity Program
The Royal Life Saving Society Western Australia (RLSSWA) with support from its community partner BHP Billiton has recently launched the Swim and Survive Access and Equity program.
The program will target over 600 at-risk children (low socio-economic, indigenous and culturally diverse) to participate in culturally appropriate swimming and water safety lessons this year. A further 800 participants will receive vital water safety awareness via activities such as water safety talks and resuscitation courses.
A recent review of drowning data in Western Australia indicates that people from CaLD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) backgrounds are drastically over-represented - with people from CaLD backgrounds represented 35% of drownings in Western Australia over the past five years. Limited water safety awareness combined with alarmingly low participation levels in swimming and water safety lessons are contributing factors in the over representation of CaLD community members in these drowning statistics. It is clear that greater effort and new ways to effectively address the problem need to be found.
The Swim and Survive Access and Equity program recently gave more than 40 children from St Norbert College in Cannington the opportunity to learn to Swim & Survive at their school pool. Boys and girls aged between 12 and 17 years enjoyed an intensive two week program of essential swimming and water safety lessons. Many children from St Norbert College had never had the opportunity to participate in a swimming and water safety program during their primary school years. The program provided essential skills and knowledge that many WA children may take for granted.
Mark Pavy from St Norbert College said “the children had gained valuable swimming & water safety skills from participating in the Royal Life Saving Program and can now join in with the mainstream school swimming for fitness program”.
The Swim & Survive Access and Equity Program brakes down barriers to participation in swimming and water safety lessons such as cost, accessibility, awareness and cultural constraints to ensure all Western Australians have the opportunity to participate in vital swimming and water safety lessons. The program teaches a range of skills and knowledge to develop swimming, water safety, survival and basic rescue skills that are essential to safe participation in and around water in Western Australia.
All children will participate in the Swim & Survive program which identifies 12 critical stages in a child’s development. The lower stages focus on teaching efficient support and movement in the water while the higher stages include skill and knowledge in safety, survival and rescue. These standards ensure children are not only taught ‘how’ to swim but also ‘when and where’ to do so safely. Last year over 180,000 children throughout Western Australian received awards under the Swim & Survive accreditation scheme.
For more information visit the Royal Life Saving Society WA website at www.lifesavingwa.com.au
14th April 2014 - SUMMIT TO REVEAL PROGRESS IN HALVING DROWNING DEATHS
26th November 2010 - YMCA URGES PARENTS TO KEEP CHILDREN’S WATER SAFETY SKILLS A PRIORITY
17th November 2010 - ONE IN FIVE AUSSIE KIDS CAN’T SWIM
11th November 2009 - DROWNING SPARKS CALL FOR NATIONAL WATER SAFETY PROGRAM
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