Fitzroy Valley students make great swimming progress

25 March 2021
Students from Fitzroy Valley District School, a remote school in WA’s Kimberley region, had a wonderful time during their recent Swim and Survive lessons!

92 students participated in the swimming lesson program which ran for three weeks at the Fitzroy Crossing Remote Pool thanks to a partnership between Royal Life Saving WA and the Department of Education. Programs Coordinator at the pool, Adele Caporn, facilitated the lessons together with Perth swimming instructor Amanda who visited the remote community to help.

two young Aboriginal children holding Swim and Survive packs in front of a poolFitzroy Crossing Pool Manager Trevor Caporn said during the program that the lessons were progressing well. “Adele and Amanda have done an amazing job over the last two weeks with the swimming lessons. They have been doing five lessons a day and it’s been very hot and humid. On Tuesday they will be handing out 92 certificates for this two-and-a-half-week block and then Amanda flies back to Perth.”

Trevor and Adele were particularly pleased with their instructor this term, Amanda. “Adele and I would like to say thank you for sending Amanda to Fitzroy to help Adele with the swimming lessons,” said Trevor. “Amanda has done a fantastic job and we would definitely recommend her to come back in Term 4 or to go to any pool to teach swimming lessons in future. She has a good understanding with the Indigenous kids and all of the kids in her classes love having her here.”

Finding instructors to travel to the remote communities in our state can be challenging, and sometimes means children in these communities miss out on vital swimming and water safety skills. Add to this the fact that those living in regional and remote areas are at a higher risk of drowning, and it makes these skills that much more important for these children to learn.

Royal Life Saving WA data shows that Aboriginal children are 14 times more likely to be involved in a fatal drowning incident than non-Aboriginal children in our state. These incidents most often occur at inland waterways such as rivers, which are regularly visited for swimming, fishing, and paddling. 

The Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pools Project aims to address these statistics through the provision of recreational and educational swimming programs in remote Aboriginal communities. The pool managers for the program, including Trevor and Adele, are passionate about teaching vital swimming and water safety skills within their communities. 

Learn more about the Royal Life Saving WA programs encouraging participation in swimming and water safety activities in Indigenous communities at the link below.
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