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South Hedland primary school children learn to Swim My Way

South Hedland primary school children learn to Swim My Way
August 15, 2019

13 young children from Cassia Primary School in South Hedland are learning vital swimming and water safety skills - some for the very first time - as part of a Royal Life Saving Society - Australia partnership with UNCLE TOBYS that aims to activate Australians through swimming.

The Swim My Way partnership supports a variety of swimming programs for Australians of all ages and has been designed by UNCLE TOBYS and Royal Life Saving to promote access and inclusion, getting more Australians active, having fun and growing their confidence in the water.

The Cassia children, who are in Year One and Two, are taking part in lessons at the South Hedland Aquatic Centre each Friday this term, with transport provided to and from the pool by Hedland Bus Lines.

Two swim instructors are leading the program, locals Lourens Viljoen (a Physical Education Teacher at Cassia Primary) and Lisa Hyde.

Advising that selecting the children to take part was a real challenge, Viljoen explains “the students were mostly selected based on their access and need for swimming lessons. Deciding who was in greatest need was extremely difficult since many of our Year One and Two students have never taken part in any swimming lessons before. Many have not had access to paid swimming lessons due to family situations putting them at a real risk of drowning when they take part in activities in or near water.”

With research having found that people in regional and remote areas of Western Australia are 3.7 times more likely to drown than those in the Perth metropolitan area, Royal Life Saving is determined to reduce these statistics and ensuring that children have an opportunity to learn vital swimming and water safety skills is a key factor in this.

The Cassia children have thoroughly enjoyed their first two lessons over recent weeks, especially when they received a special UNCLE TOBYS goody bag.

Viljoen, who is hoping that the lessons go beyond giving the children vital swimming and water safety skills, adds “some of the students in this program were chosen to increase their social interaction with others their age, helping them to make friends with kids they would not normally spend time with and broadening their social circle. There was also a need for some students to improve their gross motor skills and we’re hopeful that swimming will help with this.”

Images courtesy of Royal Life Saving - WA.

Related Articles

5th August 2019 - Attendances rise and water consumption falls at Western Australian aquatic centres

5th June 2019 - Royal Life Saving Society marks 125 years of service in Australia

24th January 2019 - Royal Life Saving WA helps women learn to Swim and Survive 

10th December 2018 - Port Hedland council to take back management of aquatic, recreation and fitness facilities

25th October 2018 - Filtration system failure set to result in 12 month closure of Port Hedland’s Gratwick Aquatic Centre

13th August 2018 - Pilbara’s first Changing Places Facility opens at the South Hedland Aquatic Centre

4th May 2018 - SWIM MY WAY program introduces migrants to swimming safety

19th March 2018 - Colin Hassell named President of Royal Life Saving WA

7th March 2018 - SWIMS 4 ALL initiative looks to get more Australians swimming

7th December 2017 - Royal Life Saving report demonstrates wellness benefits of aquatic facilities

12th January 2017 - Royal Life Saving looks to prevent drowning in Western Australia’s migrant population

10th February 2014 - Port Hedland celebrates official opening of $11.3 million aquatic centre

10th January 2013 - Swim for Life celebrates five years in the Pilbara

30th May 2012 - South Hedland Aquatic Centre development to feature artificial surf wave


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