Mid West kids enjoy lifesaving fun

3 December 2021

Aboriginal children in the pool with pool noodlesChildren from the Mid-West communities of Mount Magnet and Cue enjoyed a day of water fun last weekend at a Have a Go Day organised by Royal Life Saving WA, Water Polo WA and the Shire of Mount Magnet, and supported by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries. The event happened at the Mount Magnet Swimming Pool and was attended by 90 children and 48 parents from Cue and Mount Magnet, with the families from Cue making an 80km trip to take part in the event!

Many of the families in these communities are Aboriginal, so having an opportunity to take part in events like this is vital as we work to reduce the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children in drowning statistics. Recent figures show that children from an Aboriginal background are 8.6 times more likely to drown than non-Aboriginal children in our state.

Cecilia Kelly from the Geraldton Sporting Aboriginal Corporation is the manager of the Mount Magnet Pool and says the day was thoroughly enjoyed! “It was so great to see the community come together, and see the children enjoy lifesaving and water polo. It was a fabulous team effort and I couldn’t have done it without the help of the teams from Water Polo and Royal Life Saving!”

Community Trainer Lisa Rusten attended the event on behalf of Royal Life Saving, and says she enjoyed teaching the kids lifesaving and water safety skills both in and out of the water. “We spent the day from 10am-1pm learning and yarning about water safety, rescues and what we can do to help our friends if they are struggling in the water.

The group also discussed the creek in town as part of the Respect the River program funded by the Australian Government. "We talked about how to test the speed of moving water and when it is and isn’t safe to enter the water. The message of never swim alone was clear and the children all were on board when it comes to keeping a mate safe by swimming together!”Two Aboriginal boys with a tow mannequin

In the pool Lisa says the children got into small groups to practise tube, rope and board rescue, and the tow mannequins were of great interest to the younger children. “The mannequins opened up the opportunity to chat about the importance of the mouth and nose to be able to breathe, and I reminded the kids that if we need to help a friend in the water this is something really important to remember.”
The Water Polo was a big hit with the kids, who enjoyed learning more about the game and found out just how difficult it is to stay afloat using eggbeater kick for so long.

After all the in-water fun the parents and children were well and truly ready for a good feed and Lisa says her husband looked after the crowd with some serious barbeque work! “Chris cooked around 140 sausages for the crowd and these and the juice boxes were enjoyed by all. The sausages were cut in half, and this meant that many were able to enjoy 2 or 3 sizzles!”

Pool Manager Cecilia says the event will be fondly remembered by all! “The weekend was awesome, it was so amazing. Thank you to Royal Life Saving and Water Polo WA for all your help and guidance with making this day so special. It was such a beautiful feeling for my first event as a pool manager.”

You can find out how we can work with you to arrange a similar event in your community at the link below.

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