Multicultural men take the plunge to Swim and Survive

26 August 2019

Swimming is such a big part of West Australian culture, especially over the spring and summer months! But for those who come to Australia from overseas swimming can be a dangerous pastime as they have often not received any swimming and water safety education in their homeland.

A recent report found that 40% of drowning deaths in WA over the past 10 years involved people who were born overseas, the largest proportion of any state or territory in Australia. Males accounted for 83% of drowning deaths and 29% were aged between 18 and 34 years.

For these men arriving in WA from overseas there can be a sense of embarrassment about not being able to swim like their Australian friends and colleagues, and many feel that learning to swim as an adult is not an option.

a swim instructor with 5 men in the water learning swimming skillsFor this reason Royal Life Saving WA - thanks to funding from Lotterywest and the Department of Home Affairs - has made our Men’s Only Swim and Survive lessons available for at-risk men with little or no swimming ability in the Cities of Stirling and Canning. 32 men are taking part in the program this term - at the Royal Life Saving Endorsed Swim Schools at Cannington Leisureplex and Leisurepark Balga - learning vital swimming and water safety skills that will enable them to safely enjoy water activities with their friends and family this summer!

The classes are held in the evenings to make it easier for men to juggle their work and family commitments and have been well received by those taking part.

Royal Life Saving WA Swim and Survive Access and Equity Ambassador Yaz Mubarakai MLA, Member for Jandakot, is a strong advocate for these programs, and encourages all migrant men to take part.

“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 WA also provides Women’s Only swimming lessons to assist migrant women to learn these vital skills. You can find out more about all of our programs for multicultural communities in WA at the link below.

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