Leinster families lap up swimming lessons

21 December 2020

An instructor with children swimming in the poolRoyal Life Saving WA recently sent a swim instructor to the Goldfields town of Leinster, to provide much needed Swim and Survive lessons for local children. Leinster is a town in the Shire of Leonora, 968 kilometres north-east of Perth, and due to its remoteness the local children often miss out on taking part in regular swimming and water safety classes.

43 children and adults took part in the recent program, completing a range of stages from Infant Aquatics classes right through to Bronze Medallion. Local mother Belinda Haldoupis enrolled her three children in the program “Five-year-old Samara, three-year-old Micheal and one-year-old Elaina all got involved in the program at various levels and are so truly grateful, especially as this was the first ever swimming lessons for my son Micheal and youngest Elaina due to living remote prior to their births and the absence of swimming lessons catering to babies and toddlers in the past.”Children in the pool floating on pool noodles with their instructor

Belinda also took part in important training herself, joining a Bronze Medallion program. She says the week-long program was invaluable for all members of her family. “I am still amazed by how much progress our children made in just 5 days with instructor Tiahn. For our son it has greatly increased his confidence as he would not go into the children’s pool (0.7-0.8m) before without the support of a puddle jumper, and for our eldest she can now finally perform freestyle. She picked it up in just two days with Tiahn despite my attempts with her last summer and again this year when the local pool reopened. Tiahn was also a fantastic educator with myself as we went through the Bronze lesson plan making me comfortable and competent despite my nerves.”

Children kicking on their back with pool noodles and their instructorAnother mother, Shashirupa Budaram, who enrolled her two children in level one and two classes was also extremely grateful to Royal Life Saving for bringing the Swim and Survive lessons to town. “It is very important for us as me and my husband can't swim and we are missing out on many things. We want our kids to be able to enjoy water and be safe.”

It is always pleasing to receive such positive feedback from families, especially in communities where swimming lessons are not as accessible as they are in the metropolitan area. A number of the Leonora families have already said they’re looking forward to seeing Royal Life Saving return to their town in the new year for another Swim and Survive program. For Belinda the lessons were vital, especially as the hot summer weather arrives. “Our family spends a considerable amount of time at the Leinster Pool every year and quite often I will be by myself with all three of our children in the water, so there is no amount of words to truly represent my personal appreciation on the significance these lessons have had on our entire family and to reducing the risks.”

The recent program in Leinster was made possible through funding from Principal Community Partner BHP.