Swim and Survive skills for multicultural women

2 September 2019

An instructor watching a woman swim a lap with a kickboardWith Spring now underway the weather will soon warm up and swimming will become the recreational activity of choice for many Western Australians. However, swimming is not always a safe recreational option, especially for those who have come to Australia from overseas.

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. Poor swimming skills were a leading contributor to a large proportion of these drowning deaths with many of those coming to Australia from overseas not receiving any swimming and water safety education in their homeland.

Royal Life Saving WA works all year round to address these statistics, offering swimming and water safety classes specifically tailored to the needs of our ever-growing multicultural community. One of these programs is our Women’s Only swimming and water safety classes.A swim instructor in the pool with a group of women

For many multicultural women there is an added challenge in learning to swim due to cultural requirements around clothing and modesty. Our Women’s Only program not only provides culturally appropriate environments and instructors to teach the classes, but also gives the women advice on appropriate swimwear options that are safe to swim in but also maintain their cultural requirements.

Term Three Women’s Only Swim and Survive classes are currently underway at Cannington Leisureplex, Leisurepark Balga and The Swim School Wangara. More than 80 participants are registered to take part across the three locations with a 90% attendance rate recorded for the term so far!

The classes are always well-received by the women involved with one participant saying her confidence has improved immensely since she first began the classes. “This program helped me to increase my confidence. I was afraid of being underwater 1 year ago and now I look forward to my swim class every week.”

The program is funded by Lotterywest and the Department of Home Affairs, and will continue into Term Four, with enrolments opening soon. You can find out more details at the link below.

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