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Swimming and water safety program aids migrants in northern NSW

Swimming and water safety program aids migrants in northern NSW
June 11, 2019

16 refugees and migrants living in Armidale in northern NSW are currently receiving swimming lessons at the TAS Swim School to provide them with foundation swimming and water safety skills.

The aim of the program is to build confidence in and around water, as well as develop water skills in an aquatic environment.

Latest data* shows 27% of all drowning deaths over the past 10 years involved people born overseas, with the highest number occurring in NSW. Lack of swimming skills was identified as one of the key factors in many of these cases.

A large proportion of these drowning deaths occurred at unpatrolled locations, such as beaches (28%) and rocks (22%), where lifeguards and lifesavers are not always present, so it is vital that people have the skills and knowledge to recreate safely around water.

Jason Phillips, Royal Life Saving NSW, Regional Manager, commented “reaching culturally diverse communities with strategies to address drowning prevention and water safety is often difficult as these groups are far less likely to access traditional programs.

“Participation rates in aquatic education programs are much lower among culturally diverse backgrounds and strategies to address this through community development should be encouraged. This can be beneficial both for achieving a reduction in drowning and in promoting greater social cohesion across Australian communities.”

The program is funded by the Swim and Survive Fund, which is a swimming and water safety initiative of the Royal Life Saving Society - Australia, supported by the Australian Government.

The program which consists of weekly one-hour lessons is being delivered by Harwood Swimming from 1st June to 29th June at the TAS Swim School (pictured) in Armidale.

Click here for more information.

*Data published in the 10-year National Study of Overseas Born Drowning Report 2018.

Related Articles

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

1st March 2019 - Coastal pools social media success leads to ongoing fatalities

1st February 2019 - Surf Lifesaving NSW raises water safety awareness with pop-up beach

16th January 2019 - Parents urged to enrol children in vital Swim and Survive lessons

12th September 2018 - Drowning Deaths decrease but Life Saving bodies urge against water safety complacency

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

2nd May 2018 - Federal Government commits $36.9 million to water safety initiatives

17th August 2015 - Swim and Survive program to aid those that miss out on water safety skills

13th May 2015 - Swim and Survive program to help give Western Sydney children critical water safety skills

12th June 2014 - RLSSWA Swim and Survive Access and Equity Program

4th November 2013 - Parents value swimming and water safety lessons above other out-of-school activities

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