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Swim for Life celebrates five years in the Pilbara
YMCA Perth's Swim for Life program celebrated the New Year by reaching its fifth birthday.
Since 2008, the award winning Indigenous youth employment program has assisted 80 young people in the Pilbara to qualify for their Bronze lifeguarding medallion, while a further 30 have found employment in the sport and recreation industry, including as qualified life guards.
In addition, the program has assisted 60 young people gain Senior First Aid qualifications and given 10 Indigenous youth the opportunity to become certified AUSTSWIM instructors.
New Swim for Life co-ordinator Kate Tsorvas said she was excited to join the team in 2013 and take the program into its fifth successful year in Port Hedland.
Tsorvas explained "it's exciting to be joining a program that has helped so many young people in Port Hedland to secure their first job.
"The Swim for Life program has really helped to make a difference not only to the lives of young people, but has had a positive impact on the entire community by encouraging youth to aspire, act and achieve."
A qualified primary school teacher, Tsorvas says she is currently completing several courses that will enable her to deliver hands-on training and experience to program participants in her new role.
Tsorvas added "I have grown up around water; I swam competitively when I was younger and love the beach.
"I'm looking forward to applying the wide variety of skills I have obtained to work with Indigenous youth and mentor them through the Swim for Life program."
YMCA Perth Chief Executive Ross Kyrwood said the YMCA Swim for Life program helped open doors for young people living in the Pilbara, with many using the experience to secure apprenticeships and traineeships.
Kyrwood stated "once participants secure their first job as a life guard, we can then offer them further training and opportunities in related areas such as pool operations, teaching swimming or by assisting young people to achieve their Certificate III and IV in Recreation and Fitness."
Funded by Royalties for Regions and BHP Billiton, Swim for Life is conducted in Port Hedland, Newman and Broome.
YMCA Perth is a community based not-for-profit organisation with over 100 years of experience working with children, young people and families. YMCA Perth delivers programs and services to help build strong people, strong families and strong communities across WA.
For more information about Swim for Life, phone Kate Tsorvas on 0458 988 079 or go to www.ymcaperth.org.au
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