Fun with fruit and friends at South Hedland Aquatic Centre

26 March 2021
The Go For 2&5 Swim for Fruit program being held at the Town of Port Hedland’s South Hedland Aquatic Centre continues to be a hit with the local children of Port and South Hedland.

The Swim for Fruit program, which encourages children to swim laps of the pool to earn themselves a healthy afternoon tea of fresh fruit, is an initiative designed to address the alarming drowning statistics among Aboriginal Australians.

Research has shown that Aboriginal children are 14 times more likely to drown than non-Aboriginal children in WA. By providing an expansion of school-based Swim and Survive programs, Swim for Fruit helps to improve the general swimming and water safety skills among Indigenous communities.

two Aboriginal girls in a swimming pool sticking their tongues out at the cameraThe children participating in the program range in age from 10 to 13. They have been working diligently on their swimming technique and endurance with welcome support from recreational assistants from Royal Life Saving WA’s Talent Pool program.

The children love having the “older kids” – as they refer to the Talent Pool crew – in the water with them encouraging them to push themselves to achieve. It also provides an extra sense of security for the children who are still developing their swimming capabilities.

The kids have developed a level of friendship with each other to enjoy some friendly competition, especially between team ‘Ladies’ vs team ‘Gentlemen’. 10-year-old Master Raymond said to Sam from Talent Pool, “I thought that the weekends were the best, but now Wednesdays are the best!”

The South Hedland Swim for Fruit program is funded by Healthway and Principal Community Partner BHP. It will continue into Term 2, enabling the kids to continue engaging in active and healthy habits.