Cannington kids join Swim and Survive journey

23 June 2021

Royal Life Saving WA has, this term, continued to work with our Endorsed Swim School at Cannington Leisureplex, in partnership with Communicare, to engage local multicultural children in our Swim and Survive program. The program has been running successfully at Cannington for a number of years providing a culturally appropriate option for multicultural children to learn vital swimming and water safety skills.

Two girls holding a Swim and Survive bagWestern Australian statistics show that over the past ten years 39% of drowning deaths in WA involved a person born overseas – that’s 134 multicultural West Australians who’ve lost their lives to drowning. Of these, 61% were from a non-English speaking country.

A key objective of Royal Life Saving WA is to introduce the Swim and Survive swimming and water safety program to all cultural groups across WA. Research has found that within these groups, there are alarmingly low participation levels in swimming and water safety programs, while their awareness of the importance of swimming and water safety and lifesaving skills is significantly lower than the rest of the population. This contributes to their over-representation in drowning statistics.

The recent program at Cannington saw 64 children attend after school swimming lessons on Thursday afternoons each week right through Term Two, with first time participants learning basic swimming and water safety skills, while others built on skills learned through previous programs. These lessons are part of the Swim and Survive Access and Equity Program which is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health via the Driving Social Inclusion through Physical Activity and Sport Grants.

Royal Life Saving WA Senior Manager Education, Trent Hotchkin says, “We continue to work hard right across Western Australia, partnering with relevant community groups to ensure those from all cultural and social backgrounds acquire vital swimming and water safety skills. We are committed to teaching every child to Swim & Survive, and we recognise that this task is even more important given WA’s climate and lifestyle that encourages so much activity in and on the water. We’re determined to ensure each new generation acquires these skills, and no-one misses out, no matter who they are or where they live.”

You can find out more about our Swim and Survive Access and Equity program, which makes these vital skills accessible for at-risk communities across the state at the link below.

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