Geraldton kids lap up Swim for Fruit program

6 July 2017

During the past week we've been celebrating NAIDOC Week, a time to reflect on the history, culture and language of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander peoples along with their achievements.

In the spirit of NAIDOC week the Royal Life Saving Society WA would like to acknowledge and congratulate all those who participated in the Swim for Fruit program at Geraldton Aquarena last financial year. We’d also like to thank the staff at Geraldton for their commitment to ensuring at-risk children in their community have an opportunity to learn vital Swim and Survive skills.

It is amazing to see that over 50% of those who participated in the program at Geraldton were of anAaboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background.

The Go for 2 & 5 Swim for Fruit program, supported by Healthway, uses an incentive–based approach to teaching which sees the children being rewarded at the end of a lesson with a healthy afternoon tea of freshly cut fruit along with incentive prize packs for those who perform exceptionally well.

The program runs every Wednesday afternoon from 3.30pm during school terms, with numbers reaching a high of 48 in these sessions during Term 4 of 2016. Through the use of games, scenarios and other fun activities, Geraldton Aquarena Swim and Survive instructors Wendy Hutton and Teri Smith focused on teaching the kids about the importance of water safety and survival skills. 

A Swim for Fruit program was also held at Mullewa during Term 4 school holidays of 2016 and Term 1 school holidays of 2017, with up to 18 participants aged from 5 – 15 taking part in the sessions each week. 

Unfortunately, Aboriginal Australians and four times more likely to fatally drown than other Australians, and are severely over represented in drowning statistics. Through the implementation of programs such as “Swim for Fruit” Royal Life Saving Society WA hopes to see these statics drastically reduce, by ensuring all children in regional and remote communities have access to water safety and educational water programs.