Leonora kids make leaps and bounds with swimming skills

15 April 2021

Providing Swim and Survive lessons for those in regional parts of our state is one of the most important challenges Royal Life Saving WA faces. Finding instructors to travel to remote communities can be challenging, and sometimes means children in these communities miss out on learning vital swimming and water safety skills.

Two kids practising rescue skills in the poolRoyal Life Saving WA data shows that Aboriginal children are 14 times more likely to be involved in a fatal drowning incident than non-Aboriginal children in our state, while overall people in regional WA are almost four times more likely to drown that those in the metro area. As we work to address these issues we were recently able to send Nicole Durrant, a swim instructor from Perth, to the remote Goldfields town of Leonora so that she could deliver a week-long Swim and Survive program there.

The program saw 26 children, ranging in age from 1 through to 14 years old, take part in Infant Aquatics, Swim and Survive, while one student even completed their Bronze Medallion. The fact that these lessons ran every day for a week provided an opportunity for the students to progress quickly and build on skills learned during a similar program in Term Four 2020.

These programs have been made possible thanks to funding from Principal Community Partner BHP and are making a real difference for the children and families in this community. Instructor Nicole Durrant says she was pleased to have the opportunity to travel to Leonora and make the lessons reality for these children. “There are no qualified swim instructors in Leonora, so being able to come and run these programs has been great! The kids picked up so many skills during the week.”

Royal Life Saving WA wants to continue engaging with regional and remote communities to ensure children have an opportunity to learn these vital skills. If you’re a qualified instructor who is willing to take on the challenge of teaching in regional communities across our state we’d love to hear from you! You can register your interest at the link below.

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