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YMCA’s Leisa Hart calls for national water safety education program for children

YMCA’s Leisa Hart calls for national water safety education program for children
December 3, 2016

With summer having commenced and the swimming season underway, and following the recent tragic drowning deaths of children in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales, YMCA NSW Chief Executive Leisa Hart has called on the Federal Government to make a national water safety education program for our children an urgent priority.

Sharing her opinion with industry media, Hart states “in this water-worshipping nation, swimming lessons still aren’t mandatory (and) they can also be hard for many families to access.”

Hart acknowledges that the  Victorian Government’s recent plan to make primary schools responsible for teaching children to swim as part of the curriculum is a step in the right direction, but she believes that Governments both State and Federal must play a larger role in the funding and implementation of such a scheme.

Hart explains “here’s the problem with the status quo ... 11 children aged between five and 14 died in Australian waterways over a 12 month period to July (according to the Royal Life Saving Society’s National Drowning Report 2016) two more than in the previous year.

“Since this report was released, we know of four more children who have drowned.

“Astonishingly, it’s thought that three out of five Australian children leave primary school without basic swimming skills. This means that more than half of all Australian 12 year olds don’t have any training to draw upon to save their lives if they come into danger in the water.

“Organisations like the YMCA, a not-for-profit that’s one of the largest providers of swimming lessons across NSW, can only reach kids who live where our services are, or whose parents have the time and the means to send them to regular lessons.

“But the fact remains that thousands of Australian kids will never have a swimming lesson.”

Hart sees that the solution to reducing deaths in the water doesn’t rest with just one organisation, one strategy, or one government, adding “as a 2014 report on drowning by The World Health Organization recognised.

“What is needed is a multi-organisation approach, led by the Federal Government.

“All Australian kids, regardless of their background, address or means, deserve the skills to survive.”

2nd December 2016 - VICTORIAN SCHOOLS TO BE REQUIRED TO MAKE SURE ALL PRIMARY SCHOOL STUDENTS CAN SWIM

25th November 2016 - ROYAL LIFE SAVING FORMS COMMITTEE TO REVIEW THE GUIDELINES FOR SAFE POOL OPERATIONS

23rd September 2016 - YMCA NSW OFFERS FREE SWIMMING LESSONS FOR CHILDREN THROUGH SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER

20th September 2016 - DROWNING FIGURES DEMONSTRATE IMPORTANCE OF LEARN-TO-SWIM PROGRAMS

15th September 2016 - NEW REPORT SHOWS NO IMPROVEMENT IN ANNUAL DROWNING FIGURES

5th July 2016 - AUSTSWIM AND YMCA NSW JOIN FORCES ON WATER SAFETY

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


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We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

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