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Western Australian swimming programs engage CaLD women

Western Australian swimming programs engage CaLD women
August 9, 2016

A program of learn-to-swim activities women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds are proving popular in Western Australian.

The Royal Life Saving Society Western Australia (RLSSWA), in partnership with Western Australian Department of Sport and Recreation and the Office of Multicultural Interests, runs the women-only swimming lessons as part of a campaign to reduce the overrepresentation of this segment of society in drowning statistics.

RLSSWA drowning data shows that 37% of all drowning deaths in Western Australia over the past five years involve members of the CaLD community.

It attributes the over-representation of CaLD people in the WA Drowning Report to factors such as limited water safety awareness combined with low participations levels in swimming and water safety programs.

RLSSWA Inclusion Coordinator Jen Mickle told media “often swimming and water safety education is overlooked by new migrants due to barriers such as cost and availability.

“It is clear that greater effort and new ways to effectively address these barriers to participation need to be found so that swimming, lifesaving and community education programs are appropriate and accessible.”

The CaLD Swimming and Water Safety Education program is in its sixth year, with programs running at Leisurepark Balga, The Swim School Merriwa and Cannington Leisureplex.

This term there are 25 women involved at Balga, 15 at Merriwa and 39 at Cannington.

Mickle added “this program gives women the opportunity to experience learning to swim as an enjoyable pastime, and enables them to enjoy something that is an important part of Australian life.”

Image: Women from mixed cultures doing swimming lessons at Cannington Leisureplex

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