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Swim and Survive program to help give Western Sydney children critical water safety skills
Mindful that out of Old Guildford Public School’s 400 students, very few are able to safely take part in school swimming activities, Royal Life Saving Society - Australia and IMC Pacific Foundation have teamed up to provide a special free program to give children critical water safety skills.
Running from Monday (11th May) through to 22nd May, a Swim and Survive pilot program is providing all Year 2 students with vital life-skills in swimming and water safety.
With approximately 98% of students at Old Guildford Public School in Western Sydney coming from non-English speaking backgrounds and with very limited or no swimming skills, the Swim and Survive Fund partnership is helping young children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to learn to ‘Swim and Survive’.
Royal Life Saving, with support from IMC Pacific Foundation and Dolphins Swim School at Granville Swimming Centre, are conducting what is a three-year pilot program to help all Year 2 students to learn the practical skills and water safety knowledge to be safe in, on and around the water.
Royal Life Saving Senior Project Officer for Education Kristal Grainger explains “there are a variety of reasons that children miss out including cultural, social and economic factors.
“Royal Life Saving strongly believes that water safety education plays a vital role in reducing child drowning.”
Old Guildford Public School Principal Kay Campbell adds “the cost of swimming and water safety lessons is a key factor in determining access for many of our students.
“Our partnership with IMC Pacific Foundation and Royal Life Saving is an exciting opportunity to focus on addressing this significant and increasing gap in children missing out.”
Giving the City of Parramatta’s backing for the program, Parramatta Lord Mayor Scott Lloyd stated “this is a positive partnership and an exciting new initiative that could save lives. It’s a great opportunity to provide important water safety skills to young children and educate them about the benefits of swimming and how to stay safe in and around water from a young age.”
Drowning has claimed the lives of 138 children between the ages of 5 and 14 years over the past 10 years. With all of these drowning deaths preventable, ensuring that no child misses out on swimming and water safety education is vital.
Grainger adds ‘we live in a country surrounded by water. Through water safety education, we can increase participation in safe aquatic activity”.
To prevent drowning, Royal Life Saving believes that every Australian child should have basic swimming, water safety skills and knowledge of how to be safe when they are in, on, or around the water.
However, the reality is in many communities, a swimming and water safety education is simply not accessible.
Royal Life Saving highlights that children from Indigenous, culturally and linguistically diverse and lower socio-economic communities are most likely to miss out on a water safety education because of a lack of access due to social and economic disadvantage.
The Royal Life Saving Swim and Survive Fund aims to reduce common barriers preventing participation by increasing access to safe aquatic facilities, qualified instructors and facilitating structured swimming and water safety courses for primary school children.
The Swim and Survive Fund Initiative utilises donations and in-kind support from individuals, corporate supporters such as IMC Pacific Foundation, community organisations and Royal Life Saving Partner facilities across Australia, to increase access to water safety education for children at risk of drowning.
For more information or to make a tax deductible donation to Royal Life Saving Society - Australia go to www.swimandsurvive.com.au.
24th October 2012 - DECLINE IN WATER SKILLS LEADS TO RISE IN DROWNINGS
25th November 2011 - ROYAL LIFE SAVING CALLS FOR MANDATORY SWIMMING LESSONS IN NEW NATIONAL CURRICULUM
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
10th February 2010 - HANSON BACKS LEARN TO SWIM LESSONS FOR ALL AUSSIE KIDS
11th November 2009 - DROWNING SPARKS CALL FOR NATIONAL WATER SAFETY PROGRAM
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