Balcatta Senior High School students get set for summer

19 December 2017

With a student population that comes from 40 different countries, Balcatta Senior High School knows the importance of catering for those who come to Australia from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) background. Many of the school’s CaLD students come from land-locked countries where learning swimming and water safety skills is simply not on the radar of everyday activities.
Alarmingly, in the last 5 years there has been 50 drowning deaths in WA of members of the CaLD community, which accounts for 37% of all drowning deaths.

Swim instructors and students by the pool with their Swim and Survive bagsRoyal Life Saving WA is working hard to turn these statistics around and during term 4 of this year we partnered with Balcatta Senior High School to break down the barriers to participation for some of the CaLD children at the school, ensuring they had an opportunity to learn vital swimming and water safety skills ahead of the summer holidays. 29 students from years 7-10 took part in Swim and Survive swimming lessons each day for a week early this month.

Some of these students didn’t even own a pair of goggles or a towel, so Royal Life Saving provided each child with a Swim and Survive pack, to ensure they had all they needed to participate in the program.

Instructors Sachi Morrow and Shae Keep provided key water safety messages to the participants, and taught them basic swimming and rescue skills to assist them as they enjoy the water with their friends this summer, and help them to know what to do if they were to find themselves in difficulty.An instructor in the water with three boys swimming with kickboards

Royal Life Saving WA would like to thank Sachi and Shae for the great work they did throughout the week, and would also like to thank Joanne Keep from Balcatta Senior High School, who organized the program and encouraged families to get their children involved in the Swim and Survive lessons ahead of summer.

Joanne says the program was very timely for these students. “Some of the school children recently went to the beach for the first time, so we felt it was really important for them to be educated in water safety awareness and become more confident in swimming ahead of the school holiday period.”

These lessons were funded by Royal Life Saving WA’s Swim and Survive Fund, which provides swimming and water safety lessons for people from low-socio economic and CaLD communities. For more information about how Royal Life Saving is working to break down barriers to participation in swimming and water safety lessons click the link below.

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