RLSSWA Swim & Survive Access & Equity Program
- Written by Super User
- Category: News
- Created: 24 April 2014
The Royal Life Saving Society WA with support from our principal community partner BHP Billiton has recently launched the Swim & Survive Access and Equity program. This program will target over 600 at-risk children (low socio-economic, indigenous and culturally diverse) to participate in culturally appropriate swimming and water safety lessons this year. A further 800 participants will receive vital water safety awareness via activities such as water safety talks and resuscitation courses.
A review of drowning data in WA indicates people from CaLD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) backgrounds are drastically over-represented. Over the past 5 years, people from CaLD backgrounds represented 35% of drownings in Western Australia. Limited water safety awareness combined with alarmingly low participation levels in swimming and water safety lessons are contributing factors in the over representation of CaLD community members in WA drowning statistics. It is clear that greater effort and new ways to effectively address the problem need to be found.
The Swim & Survive Access and Equity program recently gave more than 40 children from St Norbert College in Cannington the opportunity to learn to Swim & Survive at their school pool. Boys and girls aged between 12-17 years enjoyed an intensive 2 weeks program of essential swimming and water safety lessons. Many children from St Norbert College had never had the opportunity to participate in a swimming and water safety program during their primary school years. The program provided essential skills and knowledge that many WA children may take for granted.
Mark Pavy from St Norbert College said “the children had gained valuable swimming & water safety skills from participating in the Royal Life Saving Program and can now join in with the mainstream school swimming for fitness program”. The Swim & Survive Access and Equity Program brakes down barriers to participation in swimming and water safety lessons such as cost, accessibility, awareness and cultural constraints to ensure all Western Australians have the opportunity to participate in vital swimming and water safety lessons. The program teaches a range of skills and knowledge to develop swimming, water safety, survival and basic rescue skills that are essential to safe participation in and around water in Western Australia.
All children will participate in the Swim & Survive program which identifies 12 critical stages in a child’s development. The lower stages focus on teaching efficient support and movement in the water while the higher stages include skill and knowledge in safety, survival and rescue. These standards ensure children are not only taught ‘how’ to swim but also ‘when and where’ to do so safely. Last year over 180,000 children throughout Western Australian received awards under the Swim & Survive accreditation scheme.
If you are interested in discussing program opportunities for at-risk groups at your aquatic centre contact the Royal Life Saving Society WA to see how we can assist.