Exmouth joins the Royal Life Saving team

28 June 2021

Royal Life Saving WA is always excited to see new locations join our network of Endorsed Swim Schools across the state. These swim schools have committed to providing the absolute best in aquatic education through the use of qualified instructors, small class sizes, safe aquatic environments and the use of the Royal Life Saving Swim and Survive, Infant Aquatics & Bronze Rescue swimming & water safety programs.

Swim instructor with a young boy practising a back floatIn September 2020 we were pleased to welcome the Exmouth Swim School into our network, with Coordinator Rebecca Steinhoff adopting the Royal Life Saving Swim and Survive and Infant Aquatics programs into her existing Swim School in the town. Since then, during Term Four 2020 and Term One 2021 the swim school has seen 82 children take part in the Infant Aquatics program and 140 join in the Swim and Survive program. These programs are vital as we work to reduce the drowning risk of children across the state, as they not only teach regular swimming skills but also vital water safety and survival skills.

Swim School Coordinator Rebecca Steinhoff says it's been very exciting to see some great relationships built with those who are seen as at-risk when it comes to drowning statistics. "We've had numerous bilingual infants and toddlers coming through, with their mums proudly speaking their home language in lessons. We've also celebrated some achievements that aren't measurable on certificates, I teach a number of children on the autism spectrum and watching them develop in confidence from sitting on the side of the smallest pool dipping their toes in to jumping off blocks in the deep end, or trusting me to support them in a back float when the sensation of water in ears, sun in eyes or water down the back of the neck is extremely uncomfortable to them."A student and lifeguard practising rope throws

She says there is a real community spirit developing around the pool which is fantastic to see. "There's a very positive relationship being built between swimmers and lifeguards, with swimmers encouraged to say or wave hello or goodbye for safety, learn lifeguards names and understand what the different coloured shirts mean. Lifeguards are often called over to witness swimmers' newly acquired skills and they sometimes assist in demonstrations of rope throws and rescues."

It's not only children learning important swimming and water safety skills either! "We've been teaching a number of local adults to swim as they want to be able to enjoy the water with their children, learn to keep them safe and not be isolated from other parents in the pool" says Rebecca.

Royal Life Saving data shows that people in regional WA are almost four times more likely to drown than those in the metro area, so ensuring these important swimming and water safety programs are available for regional communities is vital. Were pleased to welcome the Exmouth Swim School into our team and look forward to seeing all they will achieve into the future.Boy on lifesaving manikin

The local Paltridge Memorial Swimming Pool, where the swim school is based, is very proactive in ensuring the local community engages in swimming and water safety activities. They hold a season opener each year, engaging local youth in group water sports, along with an Australia Day breakfast which encourages the local community to take part in pool activities. The pool also hosts Education Department in-term and VacSwim lessons, and this season hosted a swimming and lifesaving carnival for hundreds of primary and high school children.

The local Exmouth District High School is also very proactive, including lifesaving activities in their annual swimming carnival and recognising the value of this for their students. This year, thanks to funding from Principal Community Partner BHP, Royal Life Saving WA was able to provide a $1500 grant to purchase rescue tubes and manikins so that the school can continue to provide this important lifesaving training for their students.

Royal Life Saving WA Sport Development Officer Jonnine Rowe is hopeful that more children in the Exmouth community will have an opportunity to learn these vital skills. “I will continue to work with the very proactive teams at the Exmouth schools and have also spoken to the local pool manager who is confident the swim club will get involved in lifesaving activities in coming months.”

Royal Life Saving WA looks forward to seeing the continued development of swimming and water safety activities in the Exmouth Community. If you’re in Exmouth and would like to get your children involved in the local swim school you can find out more at the link below.

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