Multicultural children learn vital water safety skills

17 March 2021

Two multicultural children with a Swim and Survive bagMore than 100 multicultural children have been enjoying subsidised swimming and water safety lessons in Cannington and Balga over the past 8 weeks, thanks to a Swim and Survive Access and Equity program run by Royal Life Saving WA.

Western Australian statistics show that over the past ten years 39% of drowning deaths in WA involved a person born overseas. – that’s 134 multicultural West Australians who’ve lost their lives to drowning. Of these, 61% were from a non-English speaking country.

A key objective of Royal Life Saving is to introduce the Swim and Survive swimming and water safety program to all cultural groups across WA, to ensure everyone has an opportunity to learn these vital skills. The program this term has made a real impact for the children involved, giving them the skills they need to participate safely in water activities with their friends and family.Two multicultural children with a Swim & Survive bag

The program at Cannington Leisureplex saw 60 children take part in classes on Thursday evenings after school, and was delivered in partnership with Communicare’s Make Your Move Program. 44 took part in classes at Leisurepark Balga thanks to assistance from the Edmund Rice centre WA’s Local Parks Program. Every child who was part of the classes took home a Swim and Survive pack, containing a towel, goggles and swim cap to make sure they’re well equipped to enjoy the water!

One of the mothers whose children took part in the lessons expressed her thanks for the program. “I recently moved back to WA after spending 4 years in my home country. My children enjoyed the swimming lessons and we’re thankful that Royal Life Saving was able to provide them at a subsidised cost. I would encourage everyone to learn to swim!”

This program was funded by the Department of Health.

You can read more about our work in multicultural communities at the link below.

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