Aboriginal children learn vital skills ahead of summer

10 November 2020

Children sitting on the edge of the pool preparing to join their swim instructor in the waterThe most recent drowning data for WA shows that Aboriginal children are 14 times more likely to be involved in a fatal drowning incident than non-Aboriginal children in our state. Overall, half of the children who fatally drown were Aboriginal.

Royal Life Saving WA has been working for a number of years, in both metro and regional WA, to ensure Aboriginal children have an opportunity to take part in vital swimming and water safety education. Our aim is to reduce these drowning statistics and enable Aboriginal children and their families to safely enjoy aquatic recreation.

During this Term our Swim and Survive Access and Equity team has partnered with the Edmund Rice Centre to provide water safety education and swimming classes for a group of 20 children in the Balga area. The week before the swimming lessons began the children took part in a Heart Beat Club basic first aid and CPR session, which they all thoroughly enjoyed!Aboriginal children in the pool with two swim instructors

The swimming lessons are being held at Leisurepark Balga on Saturday mornings over a seven week period, and involve boys and girls aged between 5 and 16. The children are being taught by qualified swim instructors following the Royal Life Saving Swim and Survive program, which teaches them not only how to swim, but when and where to swim safely.

These lessons are made possible through funding from the Department of Health’s Driving Social Inclusion through Sport and Physical Activity program. We’re thankful for their support in helping us make these vital skills accessible for these children, especially as we head towards the summer months.

You can find out more about our Swim and Survive Access and Equity programs for Aboriginal children and youth at the link below.

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