Gayle makes an impact in regional towns

25 June 2021

Royal Life Saving WA recognises that in a state as vast as ours training in important life skills like swimming, water safety, first aid and aquatic rescue is not always available in the most remote areas. For this reason we’re working hard with our partners across WA, including Principal Community Partner BHP, to make access to these vital skills a reality for these remote communities. Over recent months Royal Life Saving WA Community Trainer Gayle Cruden has travelled to a number of remote communities, teaching everything from Heart Beat club basic CPR courses for parents and carers, to swimming lessons for babies, children and adults, to water safety talks for school children.Two multicultural children with their Swim Instructor at the edge of the pool

Gayle, who only recently started working for Royal Life Saving WA, has been in the first aid and aquatic training sector since late 2001, when she completed her first qualification through long-time Royal Life Saving Community Trainer and Life Member Sallie Watson! She loves working in regional communities for a few reasons. “A lot of people in the regions do not know much about Royal Life Saving and what we do, so it’s a great opportunity to put a face to the organization and promote our services. Also the communities are always grateful for the fact that Royals are willing to run courses in regional areas.”

During a recent visit to Onslow Gayle was able to teach a Heart Beat Club course, assist with the end of season pool closure and party, and liaise with the local school about water safety talks. “Our aim is to inform the local community and shire of the resources and the face to face opportunities that Royal Life Saving offer, so they better understand the lifelong benefits that these water safety” Gayle says.

Two children with water safety info, wearing towels by the poolThe visit to Onslow was a real eye-opener for Gayle to see the amazing facilities the local community has to make use of. “They have such a beautiful pool with such friendly, helpful staff, and the Multi Court where the Heart Beat Club course was held is such an impressive building!”

During recent months Gayle has also visited the Goldfields communities of Kalgoorlie and Kambalda, making a huge impact for a wide range of people. She conducted water safety talks in many schools, attended and helped at swimming carnivals, conducted Heart Beat Clubs, swimming lessons for multicultural adults and children, signed off a new aquatic trainer for Kalgoorlie, conducted Bronze Medallion courses, Infant Aquatics swimming lessons, Junior Lifeguard club training, and assisted with an end of season pool closure at Kambalda!

Despite being extremely busy during her time in these communities she says she wouldn’t trade it for the world! “It’s so great to see the impact this makes to the community by increasing the swimming and water safety skills and knowledge of all West Australians. This enables them to enjoy lifelong safe and active participation in physical aquatic activities and recreation. I love the opportunity to meet so many different and friendly people and learn about different cultures. I had so many people ask me what I was doing and they could not believe that I came all the way from Perth, I got so many thank you’s from very grateful people!”Two children in a pram with Royal Life Saving  merchandise

Having people like Gayle available and willing to travel to these towns and teach these skills is vitally important for communities across regional WA. Unfortunately, there is a severe shortage of swim instructors in many regional and remote parts of our state, which means that children and families often miss out on learning swimming and water safety skills. We’re grateful for the support from BHP which makes the travel for these trainers possible, enabling us to run these programs and ensure location is not a barrier for this important training making its way to regional areas.

If you're a qualified swim instructor who's willing to travel to regional locations please register your interest at the link below.

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If you'd like to start your journey as a swim instructor find out more about our Swim Teacher by Royal Life Saving course below.

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