Multicultural women return to the pool

21 August 2020

51 multicultural women are learning vital swimming and water safety skills across the metro area this term as part of our Women’s Only Swim and Survive program. It’s the first time the women have had access to these lessons since the shutdown of the program due to COVID-19 earlier this year.

The recent Royal Life Saving WA Drowning Report for 2018/19 found that 41% of the 29 fatal drownings in our state during that period involved people who were born overseas. Of these, 75% were from a non-English speaking background. The Women’s Only Swim and Survive program has been running since 2009, at three locations across the metro area including Cannington Leisureplex, Leisurepark Balga and The Swim School WA Wangara, with the aim of enabling at-risk multicultural women to feel comfortable taking part and learning these vital skills.Two multicultural women in the pool with their swim instructor

Royal Life Saving WA wanted to address the concerns many multicultural women had expressed about swimming in an environment where men were present, as this poses a cultural problem for them. The women’s only classes are led by female instructors where the women can feel at ease. In some cases classes are even held behind closed doors.

During the COVID-19 shutdown the Royal Life Saving Swim and Survive team conducted a survey of past participants to understand how the shutdown had affected them. 48% said they felt less confident swimming due to lessons not being available during the shutdown period.

It’s been fantastic to see so many women return to the program as soon as the classes were made available again, and we expect even more to take part during Term Four as the weather warms up. The Women’s Only Swim and Survive program is funded by the Department of Health as part of its Driving Social Inclusion through Sport and Physical Activity grants.

You can find out more about our Women’s Only program and other programs for Royal Life Saving WA runs for multicultural communities at the link below.

Explore more button