Midland and Armadale youth take on Bronze challenge

22 June 2021

Royal 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 WA. The reasons behind this over-representation are many, but limited water safety awareness and alarmingly low participation levels in swimming and water safety programs have been identified as key contributing factors.

One of the ways Royal Life Saving WA is working to turn these statistics around is by placing on strong focus on ensuring Aboriginal children right across our state have access to learn swimming and water safety skills. As part of this commitment we recently saw Aboriginal children from the Koya Aboriginal Corporation and Cecil Andrew College Clontarf Academy take part in Extended Bronze Medallion courses at Swan Active Midland and the Armadale Fitness and Aquatic Centre.Teenage Aboriginal boys by the pool at Armadale

A standard two-day Bronze Medallion course requires a certain level of prior swimming ability and water safety skills, which makes it out of reach for many Aboriginal Australians who lack sufficient water safety knowledge and the swimming ability to successfully complete the course in its standard form. The Extended bronze program addresses this by taking participants through the various components of the Bronze Medallion course of 6-7 weeks, giving participants a greater chance to successfully complete the course on their first attempt.

These classes have run weekly throughout Term Two, with about a dozen children and youth taking part at Midland and seven at Armadale. Royal Life Saving WA’s Trainer Pida Bule-Turner and a group of her trainee staff conducted the program. 

Royal Life Saving WA Inclusion Coordinator Achol Madong says this vital program was made possible thanks to geneous Government support. ''The program is part of the Swim and Survive Access and Equity Program which is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health via the Driving Social Inclusion through Physical Activity and Sport Grants."

The young people taking part in the Midland course will attempt their Bronze Medallion final assessment during an open day in Rockingham. You can find out more about taking on the challenge of the Bronze Medallion yourself at the link below.

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