Holiday Swim and Survive at Bayswater Waves

8 July 2016

It may be winter but that's no reason to stay out of the pool!  In fact statistics show that children who don't take part in swimming lessons during winter suffer a skill regression once the warmer weather returns.

We'd love to see children attend swimming lessons year round and have been providing opportunities for multicultural children to do so through a school holiday program at the Bayswater Waves Aquatic Centre.

A group of 26 children from a number of different multicultural backgrounds have been attending Swim and Survive lessons throughout this week, as part of a five day Access and Equity program, with several of these children taking part in swimming and water safety lessons for the very first time!

The Swim and Survive Access and Equity program is proudly supported by Royal Life Saving Society WA’s Principal Community Partner BHP Billiton and is designed to address limited water safety awareness and low participation levels in at-risk communities. The program will target over 600 at-risk students this year. A further 800 participants will receive vital water safety awareness via activities such as water safety talks and resuscitation courses.

“The Swim and Survive Access and Equity Program not only helps children to have fun while being active and making new friends, but participating in this program helps to build their confidence in the water, while learning vital swimming and water safety skills that may one day save their life” said Trent Hotchkin, Senior Manager, Royal Life Saving Society WA.

Drowning remains one of the leading causes of preventable death in Australian children. Between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2014, three children aged 0-14 drowned in backyard swimming pools in WA. In addition on average there are 10 children admitted to hospitals across the state following an immersion injury for every drowning death in this age group.

In order to prevent these tragedies, every Australian child must have basic swimming, water safety skills and knowledge of how to be safe when they are in, on, or around the water. The reality is, in many communities, a swimming and water safety education is simply not accessible. 

Children from low socio-economic areas, Indigenous communities, culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds and those that live in regional or remote locations are most likely to miss out because of a lack of access and social or economic disadvantage.

Royal Life Saving Society WA has established the ‘WA Swim and Survive Fund’ which utilises donations from individuals, community organisations, corporate supporters and Royal Life Saving Partner facilities across Australia, to increase access to swimming and water safety education for children at risk of drowning.