Cassia Primary children learn to Swim My Way

30 July 2019

A swim instructor in the water with a group of children sitting on the edge of the pool learning to kick their legsThirteen young children from Cassia Primary School in South Hedland are learning vital swimming and water safety skills – some for the very first time – as part of the Royal Life Saving and Uncle Tobys Swim My Way program. Swim My Way is supporting a variety of swimming programs for Australians of all ages and has been designed by Uncle Tobys and Royal Life Saving to promote access and inclusion, getting more Aussies active, having fun and growing their confidence in the water.

The Cassia children, who are in Year One and Two, are taking part in lessons at the South Hedland Aquatic Centre each Friday this term, with transport provided to and from the pool by Hedland Bus Lines. Two swim instructors are leading the program, locals Lisa Hyde and Lourens Viljoen. Lourens is also the Physical Education Teacher at Cassia Primary and says selecting the children to take part was a real challenge.A group of children with two swim instructors in the pool at South Hedland aquatic centre

“The students were mostly selected based on their access and need for swimming lessons. Deciding who was in greatest need was extremely difficult since many of our Year One and Two students have never taken part in any swimming lessons before. Many have not had access to paid swimming lessons due to family situations putting them at a real risk of drowning when they take part in activities in or near water.”

Statistics show that people in regional and remote areas of WA are 3.7 times more likely to drown than those in the Perth metropolitan area. Royal Life Saving is determined to reduce these statistics and ensuring that children have an opportunity to learn vital swimming and water safety skills is a key factor in this.

The children attended their first lesson last Friday and thoroughly enjoyed it, especially when they received a special Uncle Tobys goody bag! Lourens is hoping that the lessons not only give the children vital swimming and water safety skills, but also achieve so much more!

“Some of the students in this program were chosen to increase their social interaction with others their age, helping them to make friends with kids they would not normally spend time with and broadening their social circle. There was also a need for some students to improve their gross motor skills and we’re hopeful that swimming will help with this.”

We look forward to seeing the development of these children over the coming weeks as they become more confident both in and out of the water!