Men Only Swim and Survive participants prosper in the pool

2 November 2018

Member for Jandakot, and Swim and Survive Multicultural Ambassador, Yaz Mubarakai MLA, joined Royal Life Saving representatives to check out the amazing progress of the Multicultural Men’s only Swim and Survive Program at Cannington Leisureplex recently.

Sixteen men from the Indian Society of WA took part in the eight-week Men’s Only Swim and Survive Program, gaining invaluable swimming and aquatic safety skills – for many of the participants it was their first time in the pool!

Over the last two terms, Royal Life Saving WA has partnered with The Indian Society of WA to deliver the Men’s Only Swimming Lessons in addition to the current men’s lessons as the demand for this program is so high.

Thanks to the expert training and well delivered 8-week course, care of Royal Life Saving and Cannington Leisureplex, the 16 men went from novice swimmers fearful of the water to confident swimmers with many participants mastering several strokes!

Emily Balcombe, Royal Life Saving Inclusion Coordinator, remarked on the sessions "From the start of this program in week one, the men had a fear of the water and had minimum knowledge in swimming and water safety. By week eight, the men were able to confidentially enter the water and have now developed their swimming skills enough to swim unassisted."

"It is definitely rewarding to see the smiles on the men’s faces during the program as it not only builds their water confidence but allows them to be a part of a community and make friends."

Multicultural Men’s Only Swim and Survive Programs are culturally appropriate swimming lessons which allow men from different backgrounds to come together and take part in beginner and advanced swimming and water safety classes. These programs are held during the school term at both Cannington Leisureplex and Leisurepark Balga.

Research has found that within Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) groups, awareness of the importance of swimming and lifesaving skills is significantly lower than the rest of the population. Alarmingly, over the past ten years 137 people have drowned in Western Australia who were born overseas, accounting for 40% of drowning deaths. Overall, 43% of drowning deaths involved people who’d been living in Australia for 10 years or more while 15% had recently migrated to WA, with India, Ireland, Malaysia and the UK the most common places of birth. Action is required to develop a response to the range of factors that are influencing multicultural communities' lack of participation in swimming & water safety education.

Member for Jandakot, Yak Mubarakai, says the program is much needed. "Initiatives like this from Royal Life Saving make profound differences on people who do not have the adequate water skills and are water shy – today after 8 weeks these men have the confidence to enjoy the water - it’s great to see how far they’ve come. It’s an absolute privilege to be an Ambassador for this Multicultural Men’s Only Swimming program and enjoy the successes with these men."

Royal Life Saving and Mr Mubarakai congratulate the 16 men in completing the 8-week course and wish them well in exploring their new swimming skills over summer!

If you would like more information on our commitment to Access and Equity, please click on the link below.

Explore more button