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Water Safety Program for Illawarra Migrants

January 23, 2013
More than 40 young Illawarra migrants from nations including Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Togo, Burundi and Ethiopia recently participated in a two week water safety course at McKeon's Swim School.
Facilitated by Beatrice Murekatete, the Settlement Support Caseworker with Illawarra Multicultural Services Inc. (IMS), the program was designed to provide teenagers new to Australia with basic water safety skills to enhance their safety in swimming pools, dams, rivers and the surf.
With participants aged between 12 years and 24 years, the innovative two-week program, delivered by McKeon's Swim School, included lectures and pool swimming lessons.
Explaining the program McKeon's Swim School Director Susie McKeon stated "we were delighted to support the Illawarra Multicultural Services in this important water safety
"This program has been very successful. It will enable many young people who are new to Australia's beaches and pools to more aware of these water environments. Additionally, they are now both more competent and confident in their swimming and water safety skills."
Murekatete added "we provided free transport from the IMS office in Auburn Street in Wollongong to the Swim School and back to all the girls and boys participating in our fee-free program. The participants expressed their confidence with recreation activities in the water and said how much they enjoyed this experience."
Outlining the cooperation that delivered the course, IMS Executive Manager Mohan Gunasekara explained "this program was a cooperative effort with Illawarra Multicultural Health and funded by NSW Sport & Recreation.
"We thank NSW Sport and Recreation for providing this funding and look to continue exploring and developing opportunities to support new refugees and humanitarian entrants within our community."
McKeon's Swim School operates from locations at Unanderra and Towradgi, and offers a range of programs for adults, children and families.
For details call 02 4272 7272.

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