Community garden for Jigalong Pool

29 September 2020

As our Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pools re-open for the new season there are even more reasons for the local community to visit Jigalong pool! A recently received Federal grant has enabled the construction of a community garden at the facility, giving locals an opportunity to assist in growing fruit and vegetables for their community.

Pool Manager Deb Gill says the garden will have a range of great benefits. “It will help to increase fruit and vegetable intake in the community and also compliments the ‘Swim 4 Fruit’ program we run at the pool, whereby the kids benefit after school by participating in a physical activity - like swimming laps - before being treated to a healthy afternoon tea. We’re hoping the garden will not only increase access to fresh foods, but also improve connections within the community.”

The Go for 2 and 5 Regional and Remote Aboriginal Communities Swimming Program (or Swim for Fruit) has been running in WA for more than 10 years and has had a positive impact on the physical health of children in these communities. It provides an after school and weekend lap swimming program, which expands on the school-based Swim & Survive programs in regional and remote Aboriginal communities. It also creates direct links to increase participation in other aquatic based sports such as water polo, competitive swimming, aqua aerobics and pool lifesaving.

Aboriginal Australians have higher disease and death rates, and also are 3.6 times more likely to drown than non-Aboriginal Australians. Swim for Fruit aims to address both of these issues by providing swimming and water safety education and encouraging healthy eating. Children who complete a set number of laps in a session are rewarded with an afternoon tea of fresh fruits and healthy treats.

We look forward to seeing the healthy fruits and vegetables grown at the new Jigalong Pool community garden enjoyed by the local families throughout this season, as the community works together to help the garden grow!

The Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pool Program is funded by the Department of Communities with additional funding from Principal Community Partner BHP. You can find out more about the program at the link below.

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