Multicultural men learn vital swimming skills

3 August 2018

Royal Life Saving Society WA is concerned about the number of culturally and linguistically diverse West Australians who are involved in drowning incidents. In 2016-17, there were 238 fatal and non-fatal drowning incidents recorded in WA, with 52 of these people born overseas. In addition, one third of fatal drowning incidents involved a person born overseas.

Over the past 12 months Royal Life Saving WA has expanded its Swim and Survive Access & Equity program - which was already providing targeted lessons for multicultural women and children - to provide Men’s Only swimming lessons, encouraging men from multicultural backgrounds to learn vital swimming and water safety skills. Often multicultural men feel embarrassed to learn to swim, as their Australian-born peers have commonly already learned these skills as children.

Multicultural men in the pool with their instructor at Cannington LeisureplexThe Men’s Only classes happen each term at the Cannington Leisureplex and Leisurepark Balga. The City of Canning has been a focus for the program as 39% of its residents come from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

This term Royal Life Saving WA has partnered with the Indian Society of WA to run an independent program at Cannington Leisureplex for this community group, with the aim of breaking down barriers to participation for its community members. The men involved in these classes have also taken part in a Heart Beat Club First Aid and CPR session as part of their program.

Royal Life Saving WA Swim and Survive Access and Equity Ambassador Yaz Mubarakai MLA, Member for Jandakot, attended the first class for the latest Cannington Men’s Only program last night. He said that while it can be daunting to take to the water for the first time as an adult, the benefits outweigh that initial hesitation.

“Learning to swim means that you can confidently participate in all of the water-oriented activities that West Australians enjoy, like swimming at the beach or going boating. It also means you can enjoy water activities with your children and help them to become confident swimmers too.”

“I am proud of the WA multicultural community and am privileged to be the ambassador supporting this initiative, which provides a comfortable environment for community members to learn a vital skill whilst getting active.”

Royal Life Saving works in partnership with our Endorsed Swim Schools and our key sponsor, the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, to provide targeted swimming and water safety programs for culturally and linguistically diverse communities through the Swim and Survive Access and Equity program.

We look forward to seeing more swim schools across the metro area take part in the program, providing culturally appropriate opportunities for multicultural men, women and children to learn vital swimming and water safety skills.

More information about the Access and Equity program can be found at the link below.

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