River safety and healthy lifestyle education for Yandeyarra kids

25 February 2022

In many remote WA communities, the wet season brings flowing rivers which local children love to use for recreation. For this reason, it’s vital that these children learn water skills to stay safe in this unpredictable river environment, where currents, undertows and submerged objects can make even tranquil looking waterways potentially dangerous.

Pool Manager Sandy McKenzie teaching kids about river safety by the poolRoyal Life Saving, with the support of the Federal Government is addressing these dangers by educating the public about inland waterway safety through the “Respect the River” project. Royal Life Saving WA’s Yandeyarra Remote Pool Manager, Sandy McKenzie, recently shared river safety messages with children in the community.

She says the talk came at just the right time. “We did a talk about river safety and a special water safety session and then miraculously the next day the river began to flow! We had a lot of fun.”Aboriginal children wearing lifejackets by the pool

The river safety session was followed by the children getting back in the pool to enjoy the Go For 2&5 Swim for Fruit program. Swim for Fruit, supported by Healthway, is an after school and weekend lap swimming program in regional and remote Aboriginal communities, designed to address the fact that Aboriginal Australians have higher disease and death rates, and also are 3.6 times more likely to drown than non-Aboriginal Australians.

The children taking part in Swim for Fruit complete a set number of laps or other aquatic challenges before being rewarded with an afternoon tea of fresh fruit and healthy treats. Sandy says dozens of children have taken part so far this term, building their aquatic fitness while having a whole lot of fun!

Our work at the Yandeyarra Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pool and across the Pilbara region is supported by Principal Community Partner BHP. You can find out more about this partnership at the link below.

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